“It is heartening to see a strong focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) as the drivers of a smart, modern Australian in Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s budget-in-reply speech. It is also good to see some concrete policy proposals advanced to support the rhetoric,” according to STA CEO Catriona Jackson.

“STA members will be pleased to see the emphasis on encouraging more and better STEM education and graduates as well as initiatives to support the translation of smart ideas into products and productivity.

“Something serious needs to be done to get more STEM graduates flowing through the system to take up the jobs of the future. Our economy is changing, 75 per cent of the fastest growing jobs require STEM skills, and we must increase the supply or be left behind.

The Opposition’s proposed initiatives include:

  • 3 per cent of GDP committed to research and development by 2030
  • 25,000 new STEM teachers
  • Extra STEM training for existing teachers to fill skills gaps
  • 100,000 STEM graduates to have their HECS-debts wiped out
  • $500 million smart investment scheme, to support start-ups
  • Computer coding, ‘the language of the modern era’, to be taught in all schools

“This looks like the start of science and innovation policy from the opposition and we look forward to seeing more. Science and technology is too important to attract anything less than full-blooded bi-partisan support,” Ms Jackson said

STA is the peak group for the nation’s 68,000 scientists and those working in technology. STA’s mission is to bring together scientists, governments, industry and the broader community to advance the role, reputation and impact of science and technology in Australia.



Catriona Jackson Chief Executive Officer  Science & Technology Australia
T: 02 6257 2891| M: 0417 142 238| F: 02 6257 2897 PO Box 259, Canberra City ACT 2601

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