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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3229

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Science and the Environment, upon notice, on 16 April 1980:

(   1 ) Has the Government (a) established a national information office to store and disseminate scientific and technical information, (b) provided taxation and other incentives to individuals and companies seeking to develop new techniques and products and (c) made an annual science statement to the Parliament indicating trends in research and development, as recommended by the OECD, in line with undertakings given by the then Minister for Science in December 1975.

(2)   If not, why not.

Mr Thomson - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a)   The question of a National Information Office has been and is being examined in the context of several recent and current inquiries. A resolution has not yet been reached.

That there is no governmental agency called a 'National Information Office' does not, however, mean there is no activity in this field. For example CSIRO is responding to more than one quarter of a million questions each year, from all sections of the Australian community, through its information offices in Melbourne and Sydney and its Divisions across Australia.

All CSIRO Divisions are concerned with maintaining close relations with others active in their fields, whether in universities, industry or elsewhere, to improve information and technology transfer.

(b)   Taxation incentives for these purposes exist under Section 73a of the Income Tax Assessment Act. A report and recommendations on Tax incentives for Research and Development are being prepared by the Australian Science and Technology Council ( ASTEC ) and are nearing completion.

(c)   Yes.

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