Here’s what the major parties and major independents are saying about their commitment to technology and science

Peak Industry Body Science & Technology Australia has asked political parties and independents in the federal vote next Saturday for their stance on 10 election priorities for the sector

The sector’s priorities identify key science and technology policies and investments needed for Australia to seize critical opportunities.

Whether the post-election pledges of current and novice politicians actually materialized, all political parties broadly supported the industry’s manifesto, which includes ramping up R&D investment to bring Australia into the top 10 OECD -make countries; a $2.4 billion research translation fund for commercialization, a better plan for the path to net zero, long-term investment in research infrastructure, linking investment in national scientific agencies to the CPI and addressing the precarious work system for young scientists around research grants.

The Response of the Liberal National Coalition highlighted a “$93 billion investment in the science, research and innovation sectors…to support hundreds of thousands of highly skilled Australian jobs to keep Australia strong and secure our economic future.”

“In these times of global uncertainty, the Morrison government believes science and technology play an increasingly important role in making Australia more resilient, competitive and better able to provide jobs for Australians,” it said.

In his response, Labor said: it “believed Australia could be a global STEM superpower” and pledged to work with industry and research to increase Australia’s R&D investment “to bring it closer to 3% of GDP realized in other countries” .

The ALP has also expressed support for the enactment of legislation on the Australian economic accelerator as part of its action plan to commercialize university research.

“An Albanian Labor government will prioritize science and technology with our comprehensive plan to create jobs, boost vital skills by investing in education and training, return industry expertise and increase national productivity,” thus it.

The Attorney for the Australian Greens Invest $17.8 billion in the science, research and innovation sector over a decade, alongside a commitment to put the country on track to invest 4 percent of GDP in science, research and innovation by 2030.

“Investing in science creates jobs, makes our economy stronger and enables Australia to meet the challenges we face as a nation,” the party said.

Key independents who responded including:

  • Zoe Danielwhose team said she is “a strong supporter of STEM” and would be a strong advocate for stronger funding for the tertiary sector and science.
  • David Pocockwho said he would “advance for greater longer-term certainty in research investment…on par with other OECD countries” and “oppose undue ministerial interference in the allocation of research grants and funding”.
  • Dr Monique Ryanwhose team said it was “strongly behind Science & Technology Australia’s goals of making Australia a STEM superpower” and driving both public and private investment in the commercialization of research.
  • Allegra Spenderwhose team said it “strongly supports” a drive to make Australia a global STEM superpower as a key part of its economic agenda — and wanted to seek deeper investment in R&D.
  • Zali Steggallwhose team emphasized its policy platform that pledged to “support research and development”, including boosting funding from the Australian Research Council – and strengthening STEM training for staff skills.
  • Kylea Tinkwhose team said they want to see Australia in the top ten OECD countries for investment in R&D – including through research grants – and support a review of funding to ensure “a vibrant scientific workforce at all levels”.
  • Andrew Wilkie MPwhose office stated his “strong agreement with each of the ten priorities”.

The full reactions of the parties and candidates on STA can be found here

STA represents more than 90,000 scientists and technologists nationwide.