THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
SENATOR KIM CARR
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING THE LEADER FOR SCIENCE
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA
LABOR PUTS SCIENCE AT THE FOREFRONT
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten today met with representatives from Australia’s science and research sector to discuss how science can be put back on the national agenda.
Mr Shorten is the first Labor leader to take science as their special responsibility.
Together with Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader for Science, Senator Kim Carr, Mr Shorten discussed key issues facing the sector such as creating a sustainable and strategic long term approach to supporting research programs and infrastructure, and ensuring science does not lose its place among the nation’s priorities.
“The 21st century has presented us with a number of big challenges, and science is central to solving each and every one of them,” Mr Shorten said.
“I know that that Australia’s wealth is not confined to what is below the ground, but what’s above it: our people. Australian genius. Australian smarts.”
“In government, Federal Labor increased science and research funding to record levels, but there is still more to be done.
“The role of science in the future lives of all Australians needs to be better understood.
“We still see the science of climate change disputed. We still see parents resisting vaccinations for their children. We see far too little science informing public debates and under-representation in the press.
“Too few students are attracted to study science and maths and those who go on to higher degrees are not offered diverse and rewarding careers paths in Australia.
“Government has a critical role to play in promoting and supporting science and we should be using the best scientific evidence available to develop the long term policies that will sustain us as a prosperous nation well into the future.”
Senator Carr said that keeping science and research at the forefront, including in the Parliament, will be a top priority for the Labor Party.
“Our commitment has always been to provide this community with the best kit the country can afford. In return our scientists and researchers commit to using it to further the interests of the country and its people,” Senator Carr said.
“We need to see this compact between the government and the science and research sector continue if Australia is to have a better and more prosperous future.”
25 OCTOBER 2013
Media Contact: Ryan Liddell (Shorten) 0427 225 763
Fiona Scott (Carr) 0407 294 620