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A sea-change for science.



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A sea-change for science

Australia's scientists welcome with enthusiasm the Prime Minister's announcement of a land mark increase in the national investment in scientific research and the innovation system today (Monday).

Professor Sue Serjeantson, President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS), said that injecting national funds into this area was the best mid to long-term investment Australia could make.

"We have re-entered the race to be internationally competitive," she said. "This marks a sea-change in Government thinking.

"It is a clear sign that the nation has recognised that investment in science and research is the surest way to creating the new sustainable industries of tomorrow, and the new high-pay, satisfying jobs that go with them.

"This is a great start. It drives home the message that science means business.

"This is a huge vote of confidence in Australia's scientists and engineers.

Professor Serjeantson praised the package as "an astute mix", combining encouragement for industry to innovate, new laboratories and facilities, and support for basic research, the power-house of science.

She hoped these measures would reverse the brain drain of Australian scientific talent overseas.

"Australian scientists can look forward to better links with industry, improved chances of winning national funding for research, and a gradual improvement in their libraries and laboratories.

"This is the first win for science in a decade. Recognition may have come late, but it's no less welcome for that."

For interview: Professor Sue Serjeantson Ph (02) 6125 4151, 0418 622 743 Professor Chris Fell Ph 0438 27 4962 Dr Ken Baldwin Ph (02) 6125 4702