Return to Diffusion Science Radio Review of Science Policies for the Australian Federal Election 2016 by Ian Woolf

Policy areas

Liberal Party

National Party

Labor Party

Greens Party

Science Party

Arts Party

Pirate Party

Science and Technology Education

$4.6M "P-TECH" Pathways in Technology Early College High School pilot

No policy on website

- write off University debt of 20,000 STEM students, when they graduate, per year for 5 years

- train 25,000 current primary and high school teachers to better teach STEM

- Teaching scholarships for 25,000 STEM graduates

- $9M National Coding in schools

- $4.5 million Girls into Code


$678.9m over four years to increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) uptake in our schools and universities.

- STEM professional development for primary school teachers

- Incentives for high school graduates to study STEM courses at university

- Incentives for university STEM graduates to enter the teaching profession

- Support for a national rollout of the Club Kidpreneur Foundation program to primary schools

- Startup curriculum development for schools and universities

- Startup hubs and scholarships in universities for final-year students and recent graduates

- Computer programming from early high school.

- Mandatory primary and secondary STEM classes

- including Arts with Science Technology Engineering and Maths, to help people become well rounded individuals and stimulate creativity.

- halve University fees.

- A 75% subsidy on enrolment fees for retirees wishing to undertake additional higher education study in Australia.

- The pursuit of knowledge alone should not incur a cost and must be made possible by continued development of MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) by universities and learning facilities across Australia. We would want an additional fund created and funded with $50m pa to encourage the creation and promotion of these course to all Australians.

- Enact a pilot program to distribute open source, low cost, 3D printers to interested high schools.

- Provide an online portal for use by schools and the general public, with permanent streaming and free download of publicly owned science and science education programs.

  • Require every primary school to employ at least one teacher with specialised STEM skills

Renewable energy target

23% by 2020

No policy on website

50% by 2030

90% by 2030

Zero emissions by 2030 (may include non-renewable nuclear power)

No policy on website

50% by 2025

Nuclear Waste Dump

Aboriginal land in South Australia accepting international high level radioactive waste

No policy on website

No policy on website

- Against an international dump.

- inquiry into safe storage of Australian low level waste

No policy on website

No policy on website

No policy on website


More copper – some fibre

No policy on website

Fibre to the premises

Fibre to the premises

Fibre to the premises

Fibre to the premises

Fibre to the premises


Cut $115M, cut 1208 jobs, half of all climate scientists.

No policy on website

Add $250 million

Greater, more consistent, and more predictable funding for publicly-funded research agencies, including the CSIRO

Double current Government science funding

No policy on website

-Provide $50 million in additional annual funding to the CSIRO to support fundamental research.

Global Warming

$2.55 billion to establish the Emissions Reduction Fund to pay polluting businesses to pollute less.

No policy on website

-Implement an electricity Emissions Trading Scheme

- Phase one of the ETS will operate for two years, from 1 July 2018 until 30 June 2020 to align with the second (and final) commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol;

- Phase two of the ETS will operate from 1 July 2020. Pollution levels will be capped and reduced over the course of the decade in line with Australia’s international commitments under the Paris agreement;

- The broader ETS does not apply to the electricity sector

- Develop a plan to ensure the orderly transition of Australia’s energy generation from polluting coal-fired power stations to renewable and clean energy, with a core focus on supporting workers and communities;

- Expand the investment mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation;

- Provide $206.6m to ARENA to support a specific Concentrated Solar Thermal funding round;

- Ensure the Commonwealth Government leads by example as a direct purchaser of renewable energy.

- Introduce new emissions standards for motor vehicles to reduce emissions in the transport sector;

prioritise funding for research into sustainable energy technologies with the aim of developing competitive energy technologies with zero carbon emissions

- End fossil fuel donations

- coal export levy

- Carbon Price

- fund greatly increased research into geoengineering

- end all government subsidies to the fossil fuel industry

- reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases and CO2 equivalents to below 350 parts per million - whether that is by implementing price on carbon within Australia, or supporting other governments in their attempts to reduce carbon emissions.

- government investment in renewable energy.

    - Restore a carbon tax with pricing set to the 2014-15 level and price increases fixed at CPI + 5% p/a.

    - Provide free permits to coal-generated power stations only where grid stability is at stake.

    - Provide a final extension in the Renewable Energy Target (RET) to 70GwH by 2025.

    - Remove waste levy exemptions applying to coal power.

    - Levy thermal coal exporters $2 per tonne of exported coal.

    - Revenue will be used to to purchase carbon offsets through the UN clean development mechanism.

    - Require transparent disclosure of energy ratings for all buildings.

    - Adopt EU 2020 vehicle fuel efficiency standards including the passenger vehicle target of 95g CO2/Km by 2023.

    - Form a panel of government and industry representatives to develop a plan for roll-out of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and development of an Australian standard for EV rechargers.

    - Offer assistance to private operators who wish to operate recharging stations through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

    - Create a corporation with joined State and Federal Government ownership to lease recharging sites on public land.

Nuclear Power


No policy on website



- Stop uranium mining and export

- Build a small demonstration nuclear power station to demonstrate safest current technologies. Roll this technology out across Australia if demonstration is judged successful.

- Fund research into nuclear fusion



Nuclear medicine


No policy on website


Reactor based medicines banned, funding for accelerator based alternative medicines to be investigated




Research funding

Currently 0.56% of Gross Domestic Product - lowest level since 1979 according to ABC Fact Check.

No increase.

No policy on website

$250M to restore CSIRO funding

Greens claim 4% of Gross Domestic Product by 2030 paid by both public and private sources (based on an estimate of 2.2% for current spending ) - not sure how they can promise private spending.

OR 1.02% GDP by 2030 if you take the ABC Fact Check figure of 0.56% as current Government spending - an increase of 82% over 14 years.

- Greater, more consistent, and more predictable funding for publicly-funded research agencies, including the CSIRO and Cooperative Research Centres, with programs less reliant on industry funding, improved job security for their employed scientists.

- The removal of ministerial capacity to veto independently peer-reviewed funding decisions.

Double current public science funding immediately.

An increase of 100% in 2016.

government investment in renewable energy.

National Science Plan

- $500 million in additional annual funding to Australian research bodies in line with priorities identified in the Science Plan.

- Undertake additional research in pharmaceutical development , renewable energy technology and mental health research.

Nantotech and G.M.O.


No policy on website


Banned - Assumed dangerous until proved safe





No policy on website

No policy on website

No policy on website

No policy on website

    1. Establish a space agency

  • 2. Incentivise Australian space infrastructure

  • 3. Undertake a Space Innovation and Growth Strategy Study

    - a $1bn space research fund, to be used for both research and commercial projects. The priority would be developing low cost solutions for delivering unmanned payloads into low and high earth orbit and beyond, both for Australian companies, and international clients. Lunar research would be a key area.

- $100 million for one-off development of space infrastructure recommended in the National Committee for Space Science Decadal Plan.

- Establish a National Institute for Space Science to co-ordinate infrastructure and projects and seek global capital