Innovation, Industry & Science
A flexible and inclusive industry policy is crucial to our economic future and creating jobs.
There are many challenges to sections of Australia’s industry particularly from the mining boom.
The mining bubble is driving up the Australian dollar and hurting other sectors of the economy particularly manufacturing, education, and tourism.
Industry policy must assist industry with these challenges and support investment in innovation that can help these industries survive and flourish.
Innovation is central to the transformation of economy as we move to a sustainable clean energy economy.
28 Sep 2011
Greens spokesperson for Science and Research, Adam Bandt, has called on the government to reinstate $3.5m in science education funding. This follows Professor Suzanne Cory’s address to the National Press Club today, where she expressed concern science education is on the decline in Australia today.
“Professor Cory made a strong case for linking science education to Australia’s current and future prosperity. Investment in research, innovation and development is critical.”
“Understanding science starts in school and Australian students’ science literacy is lagging behind other countries.”
“Australia’s future economy needs high levels of science literacy.”
“The government should reinstate funding for the very successful Primary Connections and Science by Doing programs run by the Academy of Science. These two programs have improved science education for teachers and students and need only an additional $3.5m over three years.
Greens leader Senator Bob Brown will move a motion in the Senate calling on the Government to reinstate the two programs.
Contact: Sam La Rocca 0413 620 073
08 Sep 2011
Watershed research from the Australia Institute released today once again illustrates the need for Australia to manage the mining boom properly, say the Australian Greens.
Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the paper ‘Mining the Truth' makes it clear the mining industry is dodging its social responsibilities while causing damage to other sectors of the economy.
"The average rate of corporate tax paid by the mining industry in 2008-09 was 13.9 per cent. The average rate of corporate tax across the economy was 21 per cent. The industry only employs 1.8 per cent of workers in Australia, but the boom is pushing up the cost of living for everyone else - especially in Western Australia - and suffocating other sectors like manufacturing, farming and hospitality," said Senator Ludlam.
"83 per cent of the mining industry is foreign owned. While the mining industry pays less than 14 per cent corporate tax, over the next five years it will send $50 billion in dividends out of this country. Are the majority of Western Australians happy with that equation? I know I'm not."
"Labor's proposed watered-down mining tax is weak and gutless, and the Coalition doesn't have the integrity or the sense to support even that mild measure.
"The original version proposed by Treasury would have been economically responsible and ensure all Australians benefit from this boom. Putting the revenue into a sovereign fund would be sound policy and a safeguard against the inevitable bursting of the resources bubble, but the Government and particularly the Opposition act like there is no tomorrow - it is wildly irresponsible."
"The Australian Greens want to see the original super profits tax model in place - with the super-rich mining companies paying their fair share while small businesses get a significant tax cut. That model would see a huge number Western Australian businesses better off."
Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302
01 Sep 2011
1 September marks one year since the Australian Greens signed an historic agreement with Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Labor Government.
The Gillard agreement has achieved outcomes for Australians in terms of passage of bills and lack of confrontation between the houses. We have consultation instead of confrontation.
The agreement was reached after the Greens secured a breakthrough win with Adam Bandt in the lower house seat of Melbourne and a record number of senators, and contains detailed policy and accountability mechanisms.
One year on many of these are now in place.
23 Aug 2011
The research and development reforms passed in the Parliament today increase support for small and medium sized businesses, particularly after the Greens secured amendments to help the cash-flow of these companies which are the engine room of innovation in Australia.
The agreement to make quarterly cash payments to small and medium-sized companies, instead of annual tax credits, was reached after a lengthy consultation by the Greens with a broad range of industry representatives.
"Imagination is the resource of the 21st century," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
10 Aug 2011
The Music Matters campaign launched today in Australia and New Zealand is a refreshing new take on supporting artists for their work through a ‘trust mark' to help fans choose to consume music in a way that supports the artists.
The Greens welcome this initiative as an important step in reconciling the need to support artists for their creative work with the increasingly diffuse means of consumption and online sharing culture which can bring tremendous benefits to creative artists.
"Australians know that music matters and hugely value the stories that musicians tell us about who we are, who we have been and who we might become," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"It is refreshing to see a campaign that brings fans to the question of copyright through their appreciation of music and a valuing of musicians instead of through the prism of criminality.
09 Aug 2011
The government needs to set a national goal for research and development spending of at least 3% of GDP, Greens MP Adam Bandt told a meeting of the biotechnology industry today.
Addressing the breakfast meeting of the BioMelbourne Network at Melbourne's Federation Square , Mr Bandt said while there had been increased business investment in R&D, government funding was lagging behind.
"I believe that science, technology and innovation are crucial to Australia's current and future prosperity," Mr Bandt said.
"I intend to be a fierce advocate for the importance of scientific research and the need for it to be adequately funded and supported."
"While there has been an upward trend in overall expenditure on R&D, this has largely been a result of an increase in expenditure by the resources and energy sector."
"The proportion of government's contribution to the country's research effort has fallen dramatically from 22.6% of total expenditure in 2000-01 to 12.3% in 2008-09."
"While our expenditure on R&D as a proportion of GDP has increased, we are still below the OECD average and a long way from where we should be, which is up around 3% like Japan and Germany."
"I believe the government needs to make a commitment to increased R&D funding and set a national goal of at least 3% of GDP."
"That will require an increase in public funding but also a greater contribution from the private sector as well."
Adam Bandt is the Greens spokesperson on Science and Research and Innovation and Industry.
19 Jul 2011
This month the world is learning about the ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa, where about 12 million people have been hit by the worst drought in almost 60 years. Australia has pledged more than $11 million in aid. It's heart-wrenching to see malnourished children in refugee camps in Kenya with tubes in their noses to feed them because their hungry mothers cannot.
10 Jul 2011
Australia will start to cut carbon pollution immediately and is laying firm foundations for more ambitious, science-based climate action in the years ahead thanks to the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee agreement announced today.
"The Greens promised to deliver a climate action package which was a platform for stronger action rather than a ceiling which held Australia back and we have done just that," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"With the establishment of an expert Climate Change Authority, the lifting of the 2050 target to 80%, the five year scheme caps updated each and every year from 2015, and a price floor introduced at the same time, I am confident that this package can deliver real, science-based pollution cuts.
"The groundbreaking support for renewable energy, energy efficiency and landscape carbon, the contracts for closure of coal fired power plants and the limits on the use of international offsets ensure that pollution cuts which were pushed into the distant future under the government's original plans will start now.
05 Jul 2011
The Federal Opposition leader is being irresponsible in his claims that the OneSteel plant in Whyalla will close should a price on carbon pollution be introduced, the Greens said today.