The Academy has recently made a number of submissions to important government inquiries on the environment, education and research.

Read all the Academy’s submissions

Sustainability for the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian and Queensland Government recently called for comments on a draft 2050 Great Barrier Reef Long-Term Sustainability Plan. The Academy’s submission warned that the draft plan was inadequate and would not prevent the reef’s decline as it failed to address key pressures affecting this Australian icon. The submission drew international and national media attention across broadcast, print and online outlets. Academy Fellow and co-contributor to the submission Professor Terry Hughes FAA was quoted in more than 400 news stories including the BBC, Xinhua news agency, the ABC and the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Academy thanks the experts from a range of disciplines who contributed to the development of the submission.

The Academy has warned the draft long term plan for the Great Barrier Reef is inadequate and will not prevent the reef’s decline. Photo: Marc Füeg, Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

20 year Antarctic Plan

The Academy has welcomed the Government’s 20 year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan and specific recommendations which reflected recommendations in an earlier Academy submission. Photo: Natalie Tapson, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In October the Academy welcomed the Government’s 20 year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan and specific recommendations which reflected an earlier Academy submission.

In the submission, the Academy warned that a declining scientific effort in Antarctica would weaken Australia’s strategic position in the region. The submission also made other recommendations about funding and infrastructure.

The Government has now committed to replacing the ageing Aurora Australis vessel with a new icebreaker—a key recommendation in the Academy’s submission.

The new 20 year plan has also recommended:

  • maintaining Australia’s stabilising role in the Antarctic treaty system
  • developing Hobart as a major Antarctic gateway
  • increasing funding to Australian science research in Antarctica
  • supporting greater international research collaboration in the region
  • supporting deep-field traverse capabilities and bases.

Submission to curriculum review

Earlier this year, the Academy made a submission to a Government review of the Australian National Curriculum, reaffirming support for the science curriculum in its present form, supported by evidence that the curriculum provides a good basis for enabling teachers to teach science effectively.

The National Curriculum review gave broad support to the current science curriculum. However the review expressed concerns over ‘curriculum overcrowding’ and said a greater focus should be placed on literacy and numeracy.

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