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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21461

National Science Week 2004

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/08/2004

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 21461

I am delighted to support National Science Week 2004, Australia's annual celebration of science and innovation. National Science Week 2004 coincides with the Olympic Games. It is therefore appropriate that the significant role of science in sport is a particular theme of this year's event. Over 2500 science related activities across Australia, including many sports related events, will bring science to the general public in an interesting and accessible way. National Science Week will also continue to reach out into regional areas, providing rural communities with opportunities to participate in a variety of activities.

Australian scientists make an outstanding contribution to the welfare and reputation of our country. As a nation, we have always punched well above our weight globally, in terms of scientific discoveries that have benefited ourselves and the rest of the world. Indeed, our ability to innovate is vital to our continued success as a nation in meeting the challenges of the world we live in, and in sustaining our social, economic and environmental prosperity.

The Australian Government recognises that science and innovation will shape the future of our nation. We are strongly committed to ensuring that our scientific research base, the backbone of any nation's innovative capacity, remains strong and internationally competitive. In recognition of this, in May this year I announced an extension of the government's 2001 innovation package Backing Australia's Ability.

The additional $5.3 billion committed in Backing Australia's Ability - Building Our Future through Science and Innovation, brings the government's total 10 year commitment to science and technology through these packages to $8.3 billion, the largest and most ambitious commitment to science and innovation by any Australian government. Combined with other programmes, the government's investment in science and innovation will total around $52 billion over this period. Together, these initiatives will further enhance Australia's ability to generate ideas and undertake research, accelerate the commercialisation of ideas, and develop and retain skills in the areas of science and technology.

This year's National Science Week promises to be the biggest and best yet. I commend the efforts of this year's organisers and presenters, and encourage all Australians to take the opportunity to participate.

Transcript 21461