Of note is Tony Abbott’s promise to redirect $104 million of Australian Research Council funds away from projects deemed wasteful and into medical and health research. This should not be a surprise if you have been reading between the lines in the Coalition’s promise to maintain health funding and nothing more. The ARC’s competitive research budget for next year is $884 million and these cuts would “reprioritise” $16 million in the first year of a Coalition Government. While this is not a great proportion of the ARC pie, the move is more worrying for the precedent it sets in letting politicians decide the national research agenda.
Science and Technology’s response to the Coalition’s policy is here.
For supporters of science and research wanting to know what the major parties have on offer in this year’s election campaign, you need go no further than here.
Slim pickings indeed, aside from The Greens recent science package proposal. The Greens policies are thoughtful and align well with the Australian Academy of Science’s election policy recommendations. Liberal and Labor’s policies are limited token reactions to the recent McKeon NHMRC review.
I hope I will get to update the table if/when the major contenders can come up with some sensible policy for the research sector.
In the mean time, please feel free to copy and distribute the table.