Dear Mr Abbott, What On Earth Have You Done?


By John Richardson

INNOVATION has to be the cornerstone of Australia’s economy from now on because of these two reasons:

1.)    The China-led resources boom is over  and so Australia can no longer just dig stuff out of the ground and send it to China.

2.)    Australia, like all developed countries, has an ageing population.

The blog is therefore confused about why the Tony Abbott-led government has announced Federal budget cutbacks which will result in a steep increase in the cost of science and engineering degrees.

The cost of an engineering degree, as a result of the cutbacks, could soar from $34,452 to as much as $100,000, while medicine or dentistry could jump from $60,510 to between $83,000 and $180,000, according to the National Tertiary Education Union.

And the latest Federal budget also involves significant cuts in science and technology funding. This could result in a “brain drain” of computer scientists into countries investing in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) research and development such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.

China is no longer lifting all economic boats, including most notably the boats of the basic  commodity producers such as Australia.

What China instead wants is solutions to its chronic water, food and air  pollution crisis. This will require products and services that haven’t even been invented yet – and their invention now seems much  less likely in Australia thanks to the budget cutbacks.

Equally, as the western world rapidly ages, we need products and services that again haven’t been invented yet, which will serve these ageing populations.

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