Science industry welcomes new Labor ministry

Wednesday, 01 June, 2022

Science industry welcomes new Labor ministry

The Australian Labor government’s full ministry was officially sworn in today, having been unveiled by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last night. Of particular interest to the STEM sector is the appointment of Ed Husic as Minister for Industry and Science, as well as Jason Clare as Minister for Education, Chris Bowen as Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Mark Butler as Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Tanya Plibersek as Minister for Environment and Water.

The new ministers have already been warmly welcomed by the industry, with the recently appointed President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Chennupati Jagadish, saying the Academy “looks forward to working with the newly elected Albanese government to assist in securing Australia’s future economic and social prosperity through a stronger focus on and investment in science”.

“As Australia looks for solutions to decarbonise our economy and transform traditional industries, science will play a vital role in developing the ideas, technologies, systems and processes needed,” Jagadish said.

“This government can also look to science to deal with future risks — like national security threats, major health challenges such as antimicrobial resistance, climate adaptation, advanced digital technologies like AI and quantum computing, and future pandemics.”

Science & Technology Australia (STA) is meanwhile looking forward to working with the ministry to advance the STEM sector’s key policy priorities and use the power of science and technology across all of government to enhance Australia’s society and economy.

“Ed Husic has a long and distinguished track record in the parliament working with the STEM sector and championing Australian science and technology,” said STA CEO Misha Schubert.

“We also warmly welcome Jason Clare to the education portfolio. Research is Australia’s superpower, and Jason Clare will be a powerful advocate for the country’s education sector — a sector that is crucially important to our national prosperity.”

According to Schubert, the new government has already stated its commitment to working towards Australia becoming a global STEM superpower through raising investment in research and development closer to 3% of GDP.

“It has also committed to passing legislation for the new $1.6 billion research commercialisation fund, and adopting a fixed timetable for research grant announcements to bring greater security and certainty to Australia’s research community and industry partners,” she said.

“These are crucial steps the country can take to use science and technology to bolster Australia’s economy and society.

“We look forward to working with Ed Husic and Jason Clare, and all of the new government ministers, to seize opportunities to use science and technology to propel innovation, scientific advances and a stronger economy.”

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