AGRICULTURE R & D HEADING FOR TROUBLED WATERS

Research and innovation in Australian agriculture is heading for troubled waters due to the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s cuts and broken promises. 

Prior to the election Tony Abbott’s Opposition promised it would spend an extra $100 million on agriculture R&D  but three years on it has spent considerably less.

The then Shadow Agriculture spokesperson John Cobb promised spending an additional $100 million over 3 years, stating that “The extra $100 million would "come out over three years" and would not require matching funding from industry”. 

But with the elevation of Barnaby Joyce to Agriculture Minister, the Government has spent considerably less than the promised extra $100 million and has required that the Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) to find matching funding from industry.

Indeed currently only $26.7 million of the $100 million budgeted over 4 years has been allocated.

Furthermore, the additional $100 million has been eroded by cuts to the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Cooperatives Research Centres and the CSIRO.

Making matters worse, Barnaby Joyce’s determination to force RDCs to relocate will cause desperately needed research money to be wasted on relocation cost, redundancies and travel costs.

This is more proof that the Turnbull Government is worse than chaotic and dysfunctional, it’s also dishonest.


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