[ASA] Fwd: STA statement on NCRIS reprieve - for circulation to members please.

Andrew Hopkins andrew.hopkins at aao.gov.au
Tue Mar 17 16:05:25 AEDT 2015

Dear ASA Members,

  Many of you will already have seen this, but feel free to circulate it to those
who have not.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	STA statement on NCRIS reprieve - for circulation to members please.
Date: 	Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:00:45 +1100
From: 	Catriona Jackson <catriona.jackson at sta.org.au>
To: 	Catriona Jackson <catriona.jackson at sta.org.au>

***Dear STA Presidents and Friends - please circulate to your members and 
contacts.*** nb/ there's a link to the release on the website at the end if 
you'd like to link to it from webpages, refer to it on social media etc.

> Reprieve for nation's research facilities
> But where's the money coming from?
> Scientists and researchers across the Australia are relieved to hear of the 
> reprieve for the nation's 27 major national research facilities, but 
> concerns remain about the source of the funding.
> STA CEO Catriona Jackson said Education Minister Christopher Pyne had 
> indicated that he had heard the nation's science and business leaders and 
> de-linked the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure System (NCRIS) 
> funding from the fate of the university de-regulation package.
> "The 27 NCRIS facilities are the backbone of the nation's research effort, 
> employing 1700 highly skilled scientists and technicians, and used by 35,000 
> top researchers from home and overseas," Ms Jackson said.
> "Many were on the brink of shutdown as their annual operating funding became 
> caught up in the wrangle over university deregulation.
> "At risk was Australia's ability to operate as a modern scientific nation, 
> as well a decade-long $3.5 billion capital investment -- the brain-child of 
> John Howard.
> "The reprieve is a cause for celebration for all Australians but we must not 
> allow ourselves to land in this position again. Long-term, stable and 
> sustainable funding must be identified for research infrastructure so 
> science and business can continue to plan for research and innovation with 
> certainty.
> "STA calls on the Minister to guarantee that the $150 million for NCRIS will 
> not be cut out of other research programs. Minister Pyne said only that 
> 'offsets' had been found, and that details would be revealed in the upcoming 
> budget. If this means robbing our research effort budget to pay for research 
> infrastructure operations it would be highly counterproductive.
> "We are also concerned about the fate of the ARC Future Fellows Program, 
> which funds the work of our best and brightest mid-career researchers. It 
> was also promised in the last budget and, like NCRIS, linked by Minister 
> Pyne to fate of the deregulation package. Now that package has been split 
> surely it is time for the fate of our best and brightest mid career 
> researchers to be released from this mess as well."
> STA is the peak group for the nation's 68,000 scientists and those working 
> in technology. STA's mission is to bring together scientists, governments, 
> industry and the broader community to advance the role, reputation and 
> impact of science and technology in Australia.
> ____
> *Media comment: STA CEO Catriona Jackson -- 0417 142 238*
> *17 March 2015*

Catriona Jackson
Chief Executive Officer
Science & Technology Australia

T: 02 6257 2891| M: 0417 142 238| F: 02 6257 2897
PO Box 259, Canberra City ACT 2601
Website <http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au>| Twitter 
<http://twitter.com/ScienceAU> | Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/scienceAU> 
| YouTube <https://www.youtube.com/user/scienceandtechau>
Science & Technology Australia <http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au>

Prof. Andrew Hopkins, Head of Research and Outreach
Australian Astronomical Observatory
P.O. Box 915, North Ryde, NSW 1670, Australia
ph: +61 2 9372 4849  fax: +61 2 9372 4880

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