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Libs take axe to Australian innovation

The Australian Greens say massive cuts to research and development, passed through the Senate today by the Liberals, Nationals, Palmer United Party and Independent Nick Xenophon, is another act of intergenerational theft.

"Cutting support for research and development is a short-sighted way to balance the Budget and will help drive the country's investment in research to a 30-year low," said Greens science, research and innovation spokesperson Adam Bandt MP.

"Big companies contract out a lot of their research to smaller businesses and public institutions, so removing the tax breaks will be felt right across the board."

"The Greens said that cutting the research and development tax concession was a bad idea when the former Labor government proposed it, and it's a bad idea under the Liberals too," said Mr Bandt.

Greens Leader Christine Milne says the Senate was treated with complete disrespect as this cut was debated, with Palmer United Senators at times not being present to answer questions about their own amendments, while Liberal Senators simply refused to answer questions.

"This legislation will destroy the research effort of universities around the country but the Minister has not consulted them about his cash grab," said Senator Milne.

"Huge cuts to research and development are part of the Liberals' protection racket for the old polluting industries. Clive Palmer tries to distance himself from the Liberals but he's helping them at every turn.

"Everybody knows that if Australia is going to get away from being an economy which is 'dig it up, cut it down and ship it away', we have to invest in education, research and development.

"Ripping money out of the CSIRO, out of our universities, out of research and development and handing it back as fossil fuel subsidies is what we've got from the government, aided and abetted by mining man Clive Palmer."


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