Crackdown on advisories, but science gets another council

A second federal science council has escaped a crackdown on government advisory bodies, but questions remain about who will take up the implementation role.

Federal bureaucrats in the Department of Industry might be scratching their heads at the government’s speech yesterday cracking down on small agencies and boards. Just a day prior, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane confirmed he has tasked his department with establishing another subordinate science council, in addition to the Commonwealth Science Council announced earlier this month.

The National Science, Technology and Research Council will act as the machinery for the CSC and focus on implementation. The terms of reference and membership are yet to be decided, but will likely come from within existing government and research bodies.

Macfarlane’s office issued a statement saying the CSC will sit as the “pre-eminent body for advice on science and technology”, and the NSTRC will support it:

“The role of the National Science, Technology and Research Council will be to support the strategic focus of the Commonwealth Science Council, with a focus on implementation of the priorities that are outlined by the CSC.”

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