Australia Finally Has A Science Minister (Again)

It has been a pretty dark time for Australian science, but after a horror year of cuts, low morale and no representation, we’re finally getting a Science Minister installed in the Abbott Government.

Main Australia image courtesy Shutterstock

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced his new-look Cabinet at a press conference this afternoon in Canberra.

Part of that Cabinet for the first time in this Government is a Science Minister.

Ian Macfarlane MP will take on the Science portfolio, tacked onto his responsibilities as Minister for Industry. Macfarlane had previously folded Science into his portfolio as Industry Minister, but it’s now being broken out.

Assisting the new Industry and Science Minister with policy will be former engineer turned politician, Karen Andrews MP.

It’s unlikely that, despite new representation in the Cabinet, the CSIRO will have its funding restored. Regardless: yeah, science!

Meanwhile, Defence Minister David Johnston has been demoted, presumably following controversial comments regarding the Australian Submarine Corporation.

In a heated debate in the Senate earlier this year, Senator Johnston screamed that he wouldn’t trust the ASC to build a canoe, let alone the Government’s big-ticket Air Warfare Destroyer vessels.

Kevin Andrews is the new man in the Cabinet for Defence.

The new Ministry will be sworn in on Tuesday.

[Tony Abbott]