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Uni call to stop research decline: Labor supports urgent action to ensure prosperity.



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Senator Kim Carr Labor Senator for Victoria Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research

06/06/07 26/07

Uni call to stop research decline Labor supports urgent action to ensure prosperity

Labor welcomes the Group of Eight universities thorough and ambitious discussion paper Seizing the Opportunities released today, and its focus on the urgent need to stop Australia's slide compared with our international competitors.

Labor strongly disagrees with the Go8 claim that there's "renewed bipartisan interest" in an increased research effort in Australia.

The Howard Government has allowed Australia to fall behind, with falling productivity growth, inadequate levels of research and development and a record run of 59 trade deficits. A boost in research and development is critical to reverse this decline.

This is not just a matter for the public research sector, but for the nation. More investment in research and development is a critical to boosting productivity and prosperity, creating high skill and high wage jobs for our children.

Labor believes a doubling in our national research effort is required if we are to establish and hold our rightful place on the world stage, to ensure competitiveness, productivity and social inclusion.

Labor particularly welcomes the Go8's focus on:

• Serious problems with research training and the need to fuel new generations of great researchers; • The need for a completely revamped research funding system to replace the highly controversial and costly RQF system the Commonwealth is still

trying to impose on the sector; • Ending the fragmentation of the national research effort.

All Australian universities need to concentrate on their research strengths. Unlike the Howard Government, Labor does not support the idea of relegating regional and poorer universities to a teaching-only role.

Further information: Kim Carr 0419 563 922, Catriona Jackson 0417 142238.