Julie Hare, $6bn fund urged for science infrastructure, The Australian, 23 September 2015
A 10-year, $6.6 billion fund to cover the costs of research and science infrastructure would set the country on the path to meet the agile, digital, progressive economy imagined by Malcolm Turnbull, a government report will recommend.
The report, commissioned last October by former education minister Christopher Pyne, says present funding arrangements for research infrastructure are a shambles. It says a lack of co-ordination, long-term funding stability and strategic vision is undermining the country’s research endeavours.
“The case for investing in research infrastructure is strong. Excellent research requires excellent research infrastructure,” the executive summary of the report, seen by the HES, says.
The report suggests the government contribute $3.7bn into an initial funding pool, which would return $1.5bn in earnings across a 10-year period and would be topped up with $1.4bn from other sources, such as state governments, international research consortiums, universities and business.
The report recommends the government expand the focus of its $11.6bn infrastructure growth package to include research infrastructure.