Science and Research

Principles

The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Science is essential for developing a deeper understanding of our planet and the universe.
  2. Government has an important role in supporting the development of scientific knowledge, and the ethical framework in which scientific research is conducted.
  3. Science, research and innovation are powerful engines for the creation of national prosperity.
  4. Innovation and advanced technologies are key elements for success for business and industry.
  5. The application of science and technology must be socially beneficial and ecologically sustainable.
  6. Innovations in science and technology are essential if we are to meet the challenges of addressing climate change and the transition to a sustainable society.
  7. Government policy should better facilitate cooperation between science research, education, innovation and business.
  8. Patent reform should promote technological innovation which benefits society, while avoiding excessive concentration of intellectual property or the monopolising of discoveries.
  9. High levels of scientific and technical literacy are essential for creating an innovative and wealthy society, requiring significant public investment in science and technology education.
  10. Careers in science and research should be secure and well-resourced to ensure that Australia remains a location of choice for science professionals.
  11. The scientific principles and practise of independent, peer-reviewed research is essential to the creation of high quality knowledge and must not be compromised.
  12. Government-funded research should be made as widely accessible as possible.
  13. The development of various forms of artificial intelligence and automation has enormous positive potential, but also enormous risks, so must be properly regulated

Aims

The Australian Greens want:

  1. Science, research and innovation, including the acquisition of fundamental knowledge, to be valued by all sectors of society.
  2. A science, research and innovation focus which addresses community needs and national goals to prepare Australia for emerging challenges and opportunities and which utilises innovative technology and methods.
  3. Increased expenditure on public and private research and development in Australia to at least 4% of GDP.
  4. Increased and more predictable funding for Commonwealth publicly-funded research agencies, including the CSIRO, to enable world class and independent research and improve job security for scientists and researchers.
  5. A precautionary approach by Government, including community engagement, regarding the safe application of new technologies.
  6. Increased public funding to Australian universities to expand their research capacity.
  7. Increased funding for research and innovation in clean energy and other technologies to support the transition to a zero carbon society.
  8. Greater support for public funding of science, research and innovation, and the removal of ministerial capacity to veto independently peer-reviewed funding decisions.
  9. Greater regulation of nanotechnology including the application of the precautionary principle, occupational health and safety notifications and mandatory labelling of consumer and industrial products that contain free manufactured nanoparticles.
  10. Increased use of research, science and innovation to support the viability of rural and remote communities.
  11. Education and investment opportunities to foster the participation of women and other under-represented groups in science and technology
  12. Government policy and support which fosters greater commercialisation of Australian science, research and innovation in Australia by local companies.

[Policy endorsed: November 2017]