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Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Page: 9644

Research and Development

Senator KIM CARR (Victoria) (14:58): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. I refer to the Prime Minister's remarks in Paris on the importance of science and innovation in addressing global challenges like climate change and to the imminent release of the government's innovation statement. Can the minister confirm that the Abbott-Turnbull government has cut funding for science research and innovation by more than $3 billion? Will the upcoming statement restore the innovation capacity lost as a result of these cuts?

Senator SINODINOS (New South WalesCabinet Secretary) (14:59): I can confirm we are spending $9.7 billion a year on investing in innovation, science and research. I can confirm that we have restored some of the cuts and made up some of the money that you did not leave in the till when you left—when you started to cut innovation, investment and research you did not provide any money for the new RV Investigator, and you also cut the CSIRO in your time in government.

Senator KIM CARR (Victoria) (14:59): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, will the upcoming innovation statement restore the $115 million cut from the CSIRO, the $16 million cut from Geoscience Australia and the $20 million cut from the Bureau of Meteorology—all critical agencies in the study of the impact of climate change?

Senator SINODINOS (New South WalesCabinet Secretary) (15:00): In only a few more sleeps, Senator Carr will see for himself, he does not have to take my word for it, a major statement on innovation and science going forward—a down payment on creating an innovation ecosystem. That will address all his issues and take innovation and science in this country to a new level.

Senator KIM CARR (Victoria) (15:00): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Does the government expect to be congratulated on doubling funding for clean energy research under 'mission innovation' when it had previously halved the clean energy research funding and still plans to slash $300 million from university research?

Senator SINODINOS (New South WalesCabinet Secretary) (15:00): I believe that the Turnbull government will be remembered as the best friend clean energy technology has ever had in this country.

Senator Brandis: Mr President, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.