Standing up for Canberra

Geoscience Australia

Today I attended the 2014 Geoscience Australia parliamentary luncheon, which again underscored the fact that this agency is a national treasure and, if you were a geologist, working there would be nirvana. Geoscience Australia provides innovative and cutting-edge research into areas of vital importance to Australia's economy and prosperity, including identifying mineral and oil opportunities that will support Australia's future prosperity, carbon capture and storage and geothermal energy, mitigating the impact of natural disasters and supporting governments to respond more effectively when disasters do occur, supporting Australia's claims to territories and resources, and supporting management of seafloor and coastal biodiversity.

I am incredibly proud that Geoscience Australia is located right here in my electorate of Canberra at Symonston and that many of its dedicated and hardworking employees are my constituents. Today's lunch was a timely reminder of the critical importance of government investment in, and support of, science —something the Abbott government just does not get. The Abbott government has no science policy, no innovation policy and no science minister. Its budget of broken promises cut nearly 1,000 jobs in science and research, including 500 jobs at CSIRO, 64 jobs at ANSTO, 58 jobs at the Bureau of Meteorology, 150 jobs at DSTO and 96 jobs at Geoscience Australia. The budget also included massive cuts to the Australian Research Council and that will make this dire situation worse.

Download a copy of this speech.