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New research fellowships to stop the "Brain Drain"



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New Research Fellowships To Stop The "Brain Drain" Kim Beazley, Leader of the Opposition, and Michael Lee, Shadow Minister for Education

Joint Media Statement - 2 August 2000

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A Beazley Labor Government will double the number of research fellowships for Australian academics and will also create a new category of elite fellowships.

We will double the number of early career fellowships to keep our best young minds here and prepare the next generation of leading academics.

We will also double the number of fellowships for outstanding researchers and create a new category of elite fellowships, valued at $200,000 a year for five years, to better support these researchers here and to bring them home.

The heart of Labor's agenda for Australia's future is the Knowledge Nation. And the building blocks for the Knowledge Nation must be Australian ideas.

If we do not promote, develop and sell Australian ideas then we will increasingly pay a high price to buy the ideas of others.

We will use their pharmaceuticals, diagnostic tests and medical treatments. We will pay for their mining and agricultural techniques. We will buy their software.

If we have no ideas of our own to sell in return, the intellectual property deficit will sink our economy.

Our political opponents see no role for government in generating and developing ideas:

Since 1996 a billion dollars in Government funding has been taken from our universities and Dr Kemp's Research White Paper will slash the number of PhD places starting next year;

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The Government's own Science and Technology Budget Statement admits the Commonwealth investment in R&D has fallen by more than one-sixth - from 0.77% of GDP in 1995-96 to 0.64% in 1999-00; and

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Business investment in R&D has fallen for the last three years as a result of cuts to R&D tax concessions. It had never fallen before. ●

That is why Australia must re-invest in our brightest minds and why a Beazley Labor Government will more than double the number of fellowships for Australian researchers.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.