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The Coalition’s announcement of a refocused national science and research advisory council has been welcomed by the university sector.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews announced a new structure for the key scientific advisory body yesterday.

The Government will be advised by a National Science and Technology Council, to be chaired by the Prime Minister, and include the Chief Scientist and the Chief Executive of CSIRO.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said it was always important to have strong scientific expertise informing public policy development and decision-making.

“Having specialist and technical experts scanning the horizon regularly for opportunities for Australia, and giving their best advice on policy directions, makes for better decisions,” she said.

“This includes Australia’s many brilliant university researchers who work every day on advances and breakthroughs to improve the lives of their fellow Australians.”

"As always, universities stand ready to work with Government to ensure science and research deliver for the community.”

In the announcement, Mr Morrison said the changes would “enable a stronger voice for science and technology in the national conversation.”

“Science is profoundly important not only to our national knowledge base and to our society, but also to help secure our nation’s future economic prosperity,” Ms Jackson said.

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