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Research excellence needs stronger foundations.

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Senator Kim Carr

Labor Senator for Victoria Shadow Minister for Science & Research

12 December 2002 55/02


Shadow Minister for Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, today congratulated those associated with the eight successful Centres of Excellence, and acknowledged in particular the value of the international networks that they will bring to Australian research.

However, he commiserated with the 80 excellent applicants whose alternative projects of national significance missed out.

The Centres of Excellence program is based on the four priority areas identified, by the Government for the Australian Research Council in January this year, and imposed without adequate consultation with researchers and research agencies.

“It is a matter of regret that the Government continues to rely on such narrow priorities for determining research policy parameters,” Senator Carr said.

Commonwealth investment in R&D as a percentage of GDP has fallen by 20% since 1995. This Government appears to lack any strategy to address the structural problems facing Australia’s research sector.

“Wilful neglect of infrastructure in universities and in Australia’s research agencies, and the difficulties facing young researchers trying to find jobs in Australia are just two issues that the Government seems intent on ignoring.

“The Minister claims that his policy focuses on Australia’s strengths, but such a policy is worthless if the research climate is not healthy, and if the knowledge base for research continues to erode,” Senator Carr said.

Further information: Kim Carr 0419 563 922 Jane Nicholls 02 6277 3730; 0419 801 940

Electoral Office: 62 Lygon St CARLTON SOUTH 3053 Ph: 03 9639 2798 Fax: 03 9639 3109 Canberra Office: Parliament house CANBERRA ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3730 Fax: 02 6277 5911 Email: Toll Free Number: 1800 673 169