PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 10868


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: 04/12/1998

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 10868

I had the pleasure today of chairing the second meeting of the Prime

Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council and hearing

of the opportunities for value adding for all Australians flowing

from the excellence of Australian science.

PMSEIC agreed to improve the innovation potential of Australia through

strengthening the education system, providing better venture capital

markets and encouraging a more entrepreneurial culture throughout

Australian society.

The issue of disincentives for entrepreneurs arising from Australia's

tax system will be referred to the Ralph Committee work on business


PMSEIC also examined major issues affecting Australia's long

term development.

The Council looked at the issue of dryland salinity, as a major emerging

problem in Australia affecting agribusiness, infrastructure, rural

townships and some major urban areas. The Council considered a range

of possible solutions, and agreed that these could be developed further.

Consistent with Government strategy on greenhouse gases, the Council

received an update on the source of greenhouse emissions and the opportunities

that new technologies offered both for abatement of the emissions

and of new industry development. Motor vehicle and energy system technologies

were identified as providing considerable opportunities.

Developments in biotechnology and health-related medical research

are major opportunities for new Australian industries. Council members

identified major issues on research and commercialisation that required

consideration in order to secure Australia's place in the next

century, such as developing the education system, providing greater

incentives for venture capital for new companies and improving the

capital gains tax systems.

PMSEIC also agreed on the importance of keeping Australia at the leading

edge of major international science facilities and received reports

on Australia's position on securing a role in the Square Kilometre

Telescope Facility and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

Copies of the papers presented to Council members can be found at

the PMSEIC home page, under details of the second Council meeting


4 December 1998

Transcript 10868