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National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling International Microsimulation Centre: speech, Canberra.

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Ministers for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research


University of Canberra Bruce, ACT

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In December last year, the University of Canberra and the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling were awarded $11 million to construct a new International Microsimulation Centre at the university’s campus here in Bruce.

The money came from the Education Investment Fund, from which the Government has so far allocated $2.9 billion for nation-building infrastructure.

The microsimulation centre will be a state-of-the-art building, featuring a 200-seat auditorium, offices, teaching and seminar rooms, and the latest audiovisual and computer equipment.

The centre will also include accommodation for up to four visiting fellows at any given time.

The Australian Government has awarded this funding confident in the knowledge that it is going to a world-class research centre. Our investment won’t just strengthen research, research training and teaching at this university.

It will make a real difference to our national capacity to undertake evidence based public policy research and education.

Let me say in this connection that it is great to be part of a project that supports the humanities and social sciences.

Microsimulation modelling has flourished in recent years.

It is now recognised as an essential tool for social and economic policy-making.

The United States, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, Norway and Canada are all making significant new investments in microsimulation technology.

They recognise the value of enabling policy-makers to fine tune billion-dollar policy proposals before those proposals are implemented.

The microsimulation work undertaken by NATSEM at the University of Canberra serves Australia’s

Innovation Minister > Senator the Hon Kim Carr


Senator the Hon Kim Carr

26 Aug 2009

Page 1 of 2 Minister - Innovation, Industry, Science and Research


policy-makers in the same way.

It enables us to examine the distributional impact of new ideas - who wins, who loses, and by how much. NATSEM has proven itself to be a very effective collaborator, forming research partnerships with twenty three government agencies over the past decade.

Its modelling work has directly affected the course of critical public policy debates, including those around the GST, national wage cases, and welfare-to-work reforms.

My own department has worked with NATSEM on population policy modelling and on simulating the impact of tax and welfare changes.

NATSEM already has an enviable reputation both at home and abroad.

This new International Microsimulation Centre will add to that reputation by providing high-quality facilities for research, professional development, and collaboration - including with overseas universities and government agencies.

Congratulations to NATSEM and the University of Canberra for putting together a compelling case for this landmark project.

It will enable NATSEM to substantially expand its work.

But not before I get to work turning the first sod.

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Page 2 of 2 Minister - Innovation, Industry, Science and Research