Australia will save $146 million over four years by cutting funding for its scientific research agencies.
According to the budget papers released tonight, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will have its budget slashed by $111.4 million.
There will also be a $27.6 million budget reduction for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and a $7.8 million reduction for the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
“The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities,” the budget papers say.
However, the budget also includes an additional $65.7 million over four years for the CSIRO which will be spent on the operation of a new research vessel, the RV Investigator. The boat replaces the RV Southern Surveyor which was decommissioned in December 2013.
Meanwhile, the government also said it would establish a medical research fund, partially funded by a patient co-payment of $7 per visit. The fund will grow to $20 billion by 2020.
From 2015-16, the net earnings from the fund will serve as a permanent revenue stream, primarily to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It will distribute around $1 billion a year into medical research from 2022-23.
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