Academy welcomes funding boost for Antarctic Science and Geoscience Australia

May 03, 2016

The Australian Academy of Science today welcomed new Budget measures committing long-term funding to support Antarctic science, and a new program of investment for Geoscience Australia.

“The Government is maintaining support for the science budget: the Academy is pleased to see this indication of a long-term commitment to science in Australia,” Academy President Professor Andrew Holmes said.

The Government has announced it will provide an additional $200 million over 10 years from 2016–17 to support Australia’s presence in Antarctica, and additional funding beyond 2025–26. With the new research vessel expected to be commissioned in 2020–21, and a long-term commitment to support Australia’s presence in Antarctica, Antarctic science is set to benefit.

“We warmly welcome the announcement of additional funding for Australia’s Antarctic program. Australia is a leader in Antarctic science, and it’s great to see a long-term commitment like this” Professor Holmes said.

The Academy also welcomed $100.5 million in new additional funding for Geoscience Australia, Australia’s pre-eminent public sector geoscience organisation and the nation’s trusted advisor on the geology and geography of Australia.

“I’m delighted to see this major new investment from the Australian Government to undertake new modelling of mineral resources. The Academy identified the need for such work in this area through its UNCOVER project and it’s good to see the government responding in this way. Our mineral wealth has helped to sustain long-term economic growth in Australia. This announcement will help us find new mineral deposits and has the potential to deliver long-term economic gains for Australia,” Professor Holmes said.

The budget also featured funding for the Australian Astronomical Observatory extended by one year to 2019–20, and confirmation of additional funding support for research infrastructure, including the Australian Synchrotron, and funding for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to allow for reprocessing of spent fuel.

The Academy has published a summary of science, research, innovation and higher education measures in the 2016–17 federal Budget.

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