[ASA] Fw: 2017/18 Federal Budget Bulletin

Virginia Kilborn vkilborn at swin.edu.au
Thu May 11 16:12:17 AEST 2017

Dear ASA members,

For your information from STA, please see the attached budget summary from the science/technology point of view.



Prof. Virginia Kilborn
Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology
Swinburne University of Technology
Ph (w) +61 (0)3 9214 4380
WWW: http://bit.ly/24vsqSR

From: Science & Technology Australia <info=sta.org.au at mail13.us4.mcsv.net> on behalf of Science & Technology Australia <info at sta.org.au>
Sent: Thursday, 11 May 2017 3:56 PM
To: Virginia Kilborn
Subject: 2017/18 Federal Budget Bulletin

Federal Budget Bulletin
View this email in your browser<http://mailchi.mp/d06926f08750/201718-federal-budget-bulletin?e=421353d9d5>


Good afternoon,

STA was part of the Federal Budget lockup earlier this week, where we found no major shake-ups for science and technology. Most of the significant changes were linked to other portfolios, including road and rail infrastructure, education, housing, and taxes.

There was no allocation made in the Budget for major research infrastructure capital funding: the Government has signalled it will wait to make an announcement when it publishes the final National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. We expect this announcement very soon and will be watching keenly to ensure there is a plan to replace the Education Infrastructure Fund and to support vital upgrades and new works for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme.

Likewise, there was no detail regarding potential changes to the application of the Research & Development Tax Incentive. The Incentive has been provided for in the forward estimates and we look forward to hearing how the Government will respond to the Ferris/Finkel/Fraser Review.

Meanwhile, the foreshadowed cuts to the higher education sector will almost certainly impact upon research conducted by universities, as might the new levy to be imposed on employers of foreign workers.

While many aspects of the science and technology Budget were ‘business as usual’, we were pleased to see some wins for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

One of the most significant was the announcement of an astronomy partnership with the European Southern Observatory. This is has been hard-fought by the astronomy community for many years and will enable Australia’s access to leading technology and participation and collaboration in important international research and translation opportunities.

We were also heartened by the investment in a new proton beam facility in South Australia, which will operate as both a treatment and a research facility, and by the strong new investment in researching and developing advanced manufacturing technology - including the creation of a new Cooperative Research Centre. There’s also a new commitment to improved modelling and forecasting of Australia’s future energy needs, through the CSIRO.

The new funding for CSIRO was somewhat shadowed by an efficiency dividend for CSIRO's operations (we’re told this will not directly affect research at the national agency). Other Government agencies have similarly had the efficiency dividend apply. There have been no changes to the Australian Research Council's funding to account for inflation, which equates to a fall in the money they can provide for research in real terms. The National Health and Medical Research Council is in the same situation.

Congratulations to STA member the Australian Mathematical Science Institutes (AMSI), which will receive a massive boost to its important PhD internship program. The expansion will give more postgraduate students the opportunity to apply their research skills within an industry or policy-making context, and more on this program can be found on the AMSI website<http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.us9.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=ed2baff1a44edef5b0e88a871&id=ee52c3d13b&e=421353d9d5>.

Responses to the Budget have been mixed within the sector, with it being described as a "fresh start<http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2baff1a44edef5b0e88a871&id=e5be5b32e1&e=421353d9d5>" for the Treasurer, "underwhelming<http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2baff1a44edef5b0e88a871&id=7a3421eada&e=421353d9d5>" for innovation, "strongly welcomed by the health and medical research sector<http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2baff1a44edef5b0e88a871&id=10e2f61a17&e=421353d9d5>", and "restrained" with science "flying under the radar<http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2baff1a44edef5b0e88a871&id=5222a6f263&e=421353d9d5>".

For our full response read our media release<http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2baff1a44edef5b0e88a871&id=46976f6787&e=421353d9d5> from the Budget Lockup, or you can access the full Budget papers at budget.gov.au<http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2baff1a44edef5b0e88a871&id=f0e9194579&e=421353d9d5>. Individual portfolio budget breakdowns can be found here<http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2baff1a44edef5b0e88a871&id=15c8a155e8&e=421353d9d5>.

Keep an eye out too, as we hope to provide updates on the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap and R&D Tax Incentive over the coming week and months.

Kind regards,
Kylie Walker




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