The release of Innovation Science Australia’s (ISA) 2030 Strategic Plan today highlights the failure of Malcolm Turnbull to invest in policies crucial to Australia’s future prosperity.
The Plan does not deliver the comprehensive reform envisaged when the Turnbull Government announced its National Innovation and Science Agenda in 2015.
Instead, the 2030 Strategic Plan offers piecemeal measures that tinker at the edges, in an attempt to minimise the impact to the Liberals’ budget bottom line.
In the meantime our digital economy is being choked of talent and the ISA 2030 report highlights that – relative to other countries – we’re still not attracting enough young people into STEM studies.
Since coming to office, the Liberals have commissioned report after report, all of which called for substantial, systemic change to stop Australia’s innovation system falling behind the rest of the world.
But this latest report already looks set to gather dust, like so many before it.
The Turnbull Government has not shown that it has the political will to restore an innovation system that was shredded and substantially defunded in Tony Abbott’s 2014 budget.
Malcolm Turnbull does not even have either a Minister for Science or a Minister for Industry at the Cabinet table.
Since the Liberals were elected in 2013, science, research and innovation funding has declined in real terms by $358 million, or 3.4 per cent.
Almost 1,700 Australian scientists and researchers are now out of work as a result of the Abbott/Turnbull Liberals’ war on science.
Malcolm Turnbull spruiked an ‘Ideas Boom’ but all we have so far is an ideas bust.
The best the Turnbull government has been able to do is cut education funding and stop firms from bringing in overseas talent through rushed 457 visa changes
Promoting research and development is central to the ISA plan, but business and industry are still waiting for the Government to respond to the recommendations of the FFF (Finkel, Fraser, Ferris) Review into the R&D Tax Incentive, delivered to the Government in 2016.
Labor has concerns with some of the R&D recommendations in the ISA Plan and will consult with industry stakeholders to determine the impact of these proposed measures on business investment in Australian R&D and jobs.
The Turnbull government has failed to prepare the nation for the transformation in the digital economy that is reshaping the way Australians work.
Only a Shorten Labor Government can rebuild Australia’s innovation system to meet the needs of a 21st century advanced industrial economy.
A Shorten Labor Government will work with business, industry, universities and research institutes to boost Australia’s investment in research and development, from 1.8 per cent today to 3 per cent of GDP by 2030.
Labor’s four-year SMART visa will ensure that educators, innovators and researchers of global standing in science, medicine, and engineering are able to work in Australia with a pathway to permanent residency.
Labor will do what the Liberals have failed to do to ensure Australia has the national innovation system it needs to be globally competitive.