Reshuffle puts focus on knowledge economy
Universities Australia congratulates Senator Kim Carr on his appointment as
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and Minister for Higher
Education - an appointment that recognises the crucial role that universities
will play in driving Australia's economic future.
"Both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Senator Carr have acknowledged on many
occasions the critical role that research, innovation and higher education must
play in securing a robust economy, industrial diversity and long-term national
well-being," said Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive of Universities
"Australia must have the knowledge and innovation infrastructure needed to
succeed in an increasingly tough and competitive global environment. In short,
we must have a knowledge-based economic future.
"Senator Carr's track record on advancing science and research, and the new
portfolio that has it linked to higher education, industry and innovation
acknowledges the central role that universities will play in driving national
productivity, economic diversity and advanced manufacturing," she said.
Referring to $3.8 billion worth of higher education `savings' announced by
the Government over the past eight months and the failure of the Coalition to
oppose them, Ms Robinson called for a re-think of the budget measures which are
still to be legislated.
"The eight out of ten Australians who believe that budget cuts to higher
education threaten Australia's future will be looking to Mr Rudd and Senator
Carr to reconsider these short-sighted decisions.
"When he was previously Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and
Research, Senator Carr set the scene for a comprehensive and unprecedented boost
in investment for university science and research in Powering Ideas: An Innovation Agenda for the 21st
"We look forward to Senator Carr re-visiting and renewing his visionary
"We also look forward to working with Senator Carr to make sure that all
children who aspire for a world-class university education will have the
opportunity to do so, regardless of their background, postcode, or
Ms Robinson thanked former Tertiary Education Minister, Craig Emerson for his
openness and willingness to consult with the sector and wished him all the best
for his future.
"Dr Emerson came into the portfolio at a difficult time. We acknowledge his
work and strong support in progressing an international education reform
package, and his commitment to reducing red tape for universities," Ms Robinson