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Innovation Statement welcome, but not enough to replace massive research cuts

The Greens broadly welcome the Turnbull Government’s Innovation Statement, however it does not repair the huge damage done to the science and research and development sectors by the Liberals’ funding cuts in recent years.

Greens Innovation spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said: “The focus on innovation and the attached funding are welcome, but it does not come close make up for the Liberals’ massive cuts to science, higher education and research and development.”

“The belated focus on supporting start-ups is welcome, but innovation is part of an economic ecosystem that also needs support for venture capital, R&D and science.”

Greens Industry and Science spokesperson Adam Bandt said: "It's not innovative enough. Malcolm Turnbull is picking the low hanging fruit instead of tackling the big barrier to innovation, which is the level of investment in R&D."

"The funding for CSIRO is not enough to restore the deep cuts to R&D funding by this government."

"The government is robbing Peter to pay Paul. Much of the funding is redirected money, such as taking funding from the Medical Research Future Fund to pay for the Biomedical Translation Fund."

"We must also make sure that we appropriately fund 'pure', curiosity-driven research, that can lead to significant breakthroughs that can fundamentally change our world."

"Turnbull is aiming too low. Spending on science, research and innovation is at its lowest since we started keeping records. This statement won't set Australia on a path towards increasing research and development funding to 3% of GDP, which is where  Australia needs to be."

Australian Greens Leader Richard Di Natale, who’s at the UN climate talks in Paris, said:

“You can’t have a 21st century economy powered by 19th century fossil fuels. Cleaner, cheaper power would benefit every business in Australia.”

“The Government cannot be serious about innovation while refusing to end speculation that it will abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the two bodies driving Australia’s energy innovation,” said Senator Di Natale.

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