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Education, Science and Training

Backing Australia’s Ability — Building our Future through Science and Innovation

Government policies have consistently emphasised the important role that science and innovation can play in lifting Australia’s future prosperity. The development and application of new products and processes significantly enhances economic growth and creates new employment opportunities. New ideas also improve our health, create a better environment, and contribute to social progress.

In January 2001, the Government released Backing Australia’s Ability, setting out a $3 billion investment in science and innovation over a five year horizon from 2001-02 to 2005-06.

Included in this Budget following the announcement of a successor package, Backing Australia’s Ability — Building our Future through Science and Innovation, are the Government’s investment in science and innovation initiatives over the next five year period 2006-07 to 2010-11. The successor package provides $5.3 billion in funding, a sizeable contribution that reaffirms and strengthens the Government’s ongoing commitment to science and innovation.

The new package will continue to focus on three key elements in the innovation process:

Strengthening Australia’s ability to generate ideas and undertake research

By funding research and research infrastructure, the Government can foster the creation of ideas that can be taken up and commercialised by industry, or used to improve social, environmental and health outcomes.

Accelerating the commercial application of these ideas

Targeted measures to assist businesses to commercialise lucrative ideas help build wealth, underpin job creation and achieve higher living standards for all Australians.

Developing and retaining Australian skills

Initiatives to develop skills are important as skilled workers can develop new products, identify and implement work process improvements, and operate new technologies.

Table 6: Backing Australia’s Ability — Summary of measures

Table 6:  Backing Australia’s Ability — Summary of measures

Table 6: Backing Australia’s Ability — Summary of measures (continued)

Table 6:  Backing Australia’s Ability — Summary of measures (continued)

  1. 2006-07 funding indicated was provided in the 2003-04 Budget.
  2. A continuing initiative provided under the BAA package.
Backing Australia’s Ability — National Competitive Grants Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Australian Research Council -0.4 -1.4 -1.5 286.8

The Government will provide $1.189 billion over seven years from 2004-05 for the National Competitive Grants Programme administered by the Australian Research Council. This initiative will maintain the doubled level of funding introduced in 2001-02 under Backing Australia’s Ability and will provide additional departmental resources to support increased grant activity.

Funding from the National Competitive Grants Programme will also continue to be committed to the Information and Communications Technology Centre of Excellence and the National Stem Cell Centre.

The Government has re-allocated $7.2 million over four years from the National Competitive Grants Programme to support research grants in counter-terrorism technology administered by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

See also the related expense measures titled Backing Australia’s Ability — extension of funding for the Information and Communications Technology Centre of Excellence and Backing Australia’s Ability — extend support for the National Stem Cell Centre in the Education, Science and Training portfolio and Investing In Australia’s Security - research support for counter-terrorism in the Attorney-General’s portfolio.

Backing Australia’s Ability — additional funding for Research Infrastructure Block Grants

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training - - 106.6 108.7

The Government will provide an additional $554.5 million over seven years to the Research Infrastructure Block Grants Scheme.

This scheme funds universities for the research infrastructure required for projects supported by research granting agencies such as the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The initiative ensures that the levels of infrastructure support are maintained at their current level of 20 cents in the dollar in line with the additional funding provided in this Budget for the Australian Research Council’s National Competitive Grants Programme. The amount of funding provided to each university is based on the amount of income the university secures in competitive research grants.

Backing Australia’s Ability — National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 1.9 15.1 100.3 102.7

The Government will provide $542 million over seven years for a new National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, as the successor to the Major National Research Facilities Programme and the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative.

Through a nationally coordinated approach, the Strategy will ensure that research infrastructure is directed to the highest priority research projects and that universities and public research organisations actively collaborate on research projects and use of infrastructure.

Backing Australia’s Ability — International Science Linkages

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training - - 10.5 10.8

The Government will provide $55.5 million over five years from 2006-07 for International Science Linkages to continue the Innovation Access Programme - International Science and Technology. This funding will support international collaborative projects including international research agreements, access to international research facilities and bids to host international conferences in Australia.

Backing Australia’s Ability — developing Quality and Accessibility Frameworks for publicly funded research

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 1.1 1.7 - -

The Government will provide $2.8 million over two years to establish Quality and Accessibility Frameworks for publicly funded research.

The Frameworks will allow the research outcomes of publicly funded research agencies and universities to be assessed more consistently and rigorously and will enable information about research activities and outcomes to be presented in a highly accessible way.

Backing Australia’s Ability — extension of Regional Protection Funding

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 3.0 3.1 3.1 3.2

The Government will provide $12.4 million over four years for continued transitional assistance for regional tertiary institutions whose funding for research purposes would otherwise be reduced as the result of the application of performance-based formulae for allocating research funds.

These arrangements were originally implemented as part of the Knowledge and Innovation reforms in 2001.

Backing Australia’s Ability — Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation National Flagships Initiative

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 30.0 35.0 40.0 50.0

The Government will provide $305 million over seven years to continue the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) National Flagships Initiative. This measure builds upon the $20 million provided to CSIRO for the Flagships Initiative in 2003-04.

Flagships are large-scale collaborative research partnerships, which reflect the Government’s national research priorities. CSIRO has developed six National Flagship programmes — Preventative Health, Food Futures, Energy Transformed, Water for a Healthy Country, Leading the Light Metals Age and Wealth from Australia’s Oceans.

See also the related expense measure titled Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Backing Australia’s Ability — health and medical research — overhead infrastructure support

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Health and Ageing 26.0 27.0 28.0 29.0

The Government will provide an additional $200 million over seven years to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which provides grants for health and medical research on a competitive basis.

This measure will allow the NHMRC to fund overhead infrastructure costs for independent medical research institutions awarded NHMRC research grants. This will allow these institutions competitive access to overhead infrastructure support on a similar footing to that provided to universities.

Backing Australia’s Ability — extension of funding for Building on IT Strengths Advanced Networks Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts 8.3 7.3 5.4 -

The Government will provide funding of $21 million over three years to continue support for the Building on IT Strengths Advanced Networks Programme to further develop and operate three high speed advanced communication networks.

This funding will enable continued development and commercialisation of leading edge network technologies and products by universities, research organisations and industry, that will deliver longer-term benefits to the Australian economy.

Backing Australia’s Ability — extension of funding for the information and communications technology centre of excellence

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts - - 24.2 24.8

The Government will provide funding of $126.3 million over five years from 2006-07 for National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA), the information and communication technology centre of excellence.

The Government established NICTA as part of the Backing Australia’s Ability package. It undertakes research in a range of areas including networking technologies, software engineering, human-machine interaction and intelligent systems, with a view to the commercialisation of research through start-up companies.

NICTA will also receive $124.7 million through the Australian Research Council’s National Competitive Grants Programme in the years 2006-07 to 2010-11, bringing the total level of Government assistance over the five years to 2010-11 to $251.1 million.

See also the related expense measure Backing Australia’s Ability — National Competitive Grants Programme in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Backing Australia’s Ability — Innovation Access Programme reprioritisation

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources -2.0 -6.0 - -

The Government will reduce funding for the Innovation Access Programme by $2 million in 2004-05 and $6 million in 2005-06.

These funds will be redirected to contribute to the establishment of the new Commercial Ready Programme, the expansion of the Commercialising Emerging Technologies Programme, and the continuation of the National Biotechnology Strategy.

See also the related expense measures titled Backing Australia’s Ability — R&D Start reprioritisation, Backing Australia’s Ability — Commercial Ready Programme, Backing Australia’s Ability — Commercialising Emerging Technologies Programme and the Backing Australia’s Ability — extend funding for the National Biotechnology Strategy and Biotechnology Australia in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Backing Australia’s Ability — Commercial Ready Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources 5.5 16.7 144.1 200.0

The Government will provide funding of $1 billion over seven years for a Commercial Ready Programme, which will bring together R&D Start, the Biotechnology Innovation Fund and elements of the Innovation Access Programme into a streamlined product for the business community.

The new Commercial Ready Programme will provide grants for research and development, technology diffusion and early stage commercialisation, with an increased focus on small to medium enterprises and proof of concept activity.

Backing Australia’s Ability — Commercialising Emerging Technologies Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources 3.8 13.3 17.4 17.8

The Government will provide funding of $100 million over seven years to continue and expand the Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) Programme.

This programme assists companies to commercialise innovative technology through a tailored package of services in areas such as management skills training, market research, and the development of business plans and intellectual property strategies. Increased funding will support the engagement of additional business advisers to assist more companies, including university start-up companies.

Backing Australia’s Ability — extend support for National Stem Cell Centre

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources - - 7.0 6.5

The Government will provide funding of $30.4 million over five years from 2006-07 for the National Stem Cell Centre.

The Government established the Centre in May 2003 as part of the Backing Australia’s Ability package. It undertakes research in the four key areas of embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, tissue repair and immune systems, with a view to the development of products to treat human diseases and injuries.

The Centre will also receive $27.5 million through the Australian Research Council’s National Competitive Grants Programme in the years 2006-07 to 2010-11 bringing the total level of Government assistance over the five years to 2010-11 to $57.9 million.

See also the related expense measure titled Backing Australia’s Ability — National Competitive Grants Programme in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Backing Australia’s Ability — R&D Start reprioritisation

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources -16.2 -3.1 - -

The Government will reduce funding for R&D Start grants by $16.2 million in 2004-05 and $3.1 million in 2005-06.

These funds will be redirected to contribute to the establishment of the new Commercial Ready Programme, the expansion of the Commercialising Emerging Technologies Programme, and the continuation of the National Biotechnology Strategy.

See also the related expense measures titled Backing Australia’s Ability — Innovation Access Programme reprioritisation, Backing Australia’s Ability — Commercial Ready Programme, Backing Australia’s Ability — Commercialising Emerging Technologies Programme and the Backing Australia’s Ability — extend funding for the National Biotechnology Strategy and Biotechnology Australia in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Backing Australia’s Ability — Cooperative Research Centres Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training - -51.0 -17.6 64.3

The Government will provide $65 million over six years from 2005-06 to the Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) Programme. This is in addition to the existing provision for the programme of $1.08 billion over the same period. CRCs bring together university and public sector researchers with industry to collaborate on research and development projects of interest to all participants.

Funding rounds to select new CRCs for funding on a competitive basis will be conducted in 2004, 2006 and 2008. As part of this measure, funding has been moved between years (particularly from 2005-06 and 2006-07) to ensure it is more evenly distributed.

Backing Australia’s Ability — extension of funding for Building on IT Strengths Incubator Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts 13.0 11.0 8.0 4.0

The Government will provide funding of $36 million over four years to continue support for the Building on IT Strengths Incubator Programme.

Building on IT Strengths incubators provide finance, business support and services to start-up information and communications technology firms in order to increase the success rate of new business formation in the sector.

Backing Australia’s Ability — New Industries Development Programme Mark III

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - - 3.1 3.0

The Government will provide $14 million over five years from 2006-07 for the New Industries Development Programme Mark III.

The objective of the programme is to enable small to medium size Australian agribusinesses to gain the financial assistance and business skills required to commercialise their new products, services and technologies.

Backing Australia’s Ability — additional funding for Questacon Smart Moves Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 1.0 1.7 1.7 1.8

The Government will provide $11.4 million over seven years to continue and expand the Questacon Smart Moves Programme.

Questacon Smart Moves raises secondary school students’ awareness of science and innovation and encourages involvement in science, maths, engineering and technology, especially in rural and regional areas. Funding will be used to provide touring science outreach programmes to schools, an annual Invention Convention and website material.

Backing Australia’s Ability — Science Connections Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 0.3 0.6 4.7 4.9

The Government will provide $25.8 million over seven years for the Science Connections Programme.

The funding will support the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, ‘Science meets Parliament’, and community awareness projects such as National Science Week, ABC Science Online and the Science Olympiads.

Backing Australia’s Ability — boosting innovation, science, mathematics and technology teaching

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 6.3 10.8 5.6 5.8

The Government will provide $38.8 million over seven years to address findings presented in the Australian Government’s Review of Teaching and Teacher Education.

Approximately 500 science and innovation projects in schools will be funded, including clusters, to allow schools, universities, science organisations, industry and the broader community to exchange contemporary science, mathematics and technology knowledge.

The funding will also provide 1,300 places over seven years for undergraduate science students and early career researchers to assist science, mathematics and technology teachers in schools for one term. Data will also be collected to address workforce planning data shortages identified by the review.

Backing Australia’s Ability — extension of Fostering Scientific, Mathematical and Technological Skills and Innovation in Government Schools Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training - - - -

The Government will provide $372.8 million over four years to continue the Fostering Scientific, Mathematical and Technological Skills and Innovation in Government Schools Programme.

Funds will be made available to those State Governments that are affected by the Enrolment Benchmark Adjustment which alters the level of available funding for schools based on the number of students enrolled. Rather than return these funds to the Australian Government, as was originally provided for, the funding will be made available for school-based projects. The resulting activities will improve scientific, mathematical and technological skills in schools.

This measure involves funding of $93.2 million per year until 2007-08. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Backing Australia’s Ability — extend funding for the National Biotechnology Strategy and Biotechnology Australia

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0

The Government will provide funding of $20 million over four years to continue the National Biotechnology Strategy and Biotechnology Australia. The Strategy was launched in 2000 to provide a national framework for the development and implementation of biotechnology policy. Biotechnology Australia coordinates non-regulatory biotechnology policy development across Australian government agencies.

Continuing activities include Biotechnology Australia’s Public Awareness Programme to inform the public about biotechnology and consultation with the States on a national approach to biotechnology issues. Ongoing work will also focus on research into the environmental risks and supply chain management of genetically modified crops, and arrangements for access to native genetic resources.

Other measures in the Education, Science and Training portfolio

Australian Institute of Marine Science

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Australian Institute of Marine Science - - - -

The Government will provide the Australian Institute of Marine Science with base funding of $22.5 million in 2004-05, $22.9 million in 2005-06 and $23.4 million in 2006-07. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

The Australian Institute of Marine Science undertakes research aimed at the protection and sustainable development of Australia’s marine environment.

Australian Maritime College — Point Nepean campus

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 0.6 1.1 1.6 1.6

The Government will provide $4.9 million over four years to the Australian Maritime College. This funding will be used to develop a new campus at Point Nepean, Victoria and provide 40 places each year from 2005. The campus will offer courses in marine and coastal conservation.

Under accepted accounting practice, the amount loaned under the Higher Education Loans Programme (HELP) is treated as a financial asset and therefore does not impact on the fiscal balance. Payment by students of the indexation component under HELP is treated as interest revenue and impacts on the fiscal balance from 2005-06.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation - - - -

The Government will provide the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation with base funding of $108 million in 2004-05, $110.2 million in 2005-06 and $112.4 million in 2006-07. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation is Australia’s nuclear research and development organisation responsible for delivering specialised advice, scientific services and products to government, industry, academia and other research organisations.

See also the related capital measure titled Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation — replacement research reactor in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Career and Transition and Partnership Outreach Education Model pilot programmes — continuation

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 3.1 2.1 - -

The Government will provide $5.2 million over two years to continue the Career and Transition and the Partnership Outreach Education Model pilot programmes. The Career and Transition pilot provides career and transition advice to young people aged 13-19 years. The Partnership Outreach Education Model pilot assists students who leave school early to re-engage with mainstream education and training.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation - - - -

The Government will provide the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation with base funding of $546.5 million in 2004-05, $555.4 million in 2005-06 and $563.6 million in 2006-07. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates. In addition, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation will also receive funding through the related science and innovation package.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is Australia’s largest publicly funded research agency. It aims to deliver excellence in science and innovative solutions for industry, society and the environment.

See also the related expense measure titled Backing Australia’s Ability — Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation — National Flagships Initiative in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

MedicarePlus — additional medical school places for Queensland

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 0.2 0.4 0.7 0.9

The Government will provide $2.2 million over four years for an additional 12 medical school places per year at James Cook University in Queensland.

Students who accept one of these additional places will be required to enter into a contract to work in a designated area of workforce shortage for six years after. Students who do not fulfil this obligation will be required to repay the cost of their training.

This measure is in addition to the $42.1 million over four years provided for additional medical school places in A Fairer Medicare announced in the 2003-04 Budget.

Under accepted accounting practice, the amount loaned to students under the Higher Education Loans Programme (HELP) is treated as a financial asset and therefore does not impact on the fiscal balance. Payment by students of the indexation component under HELP is treated as interest revenue and impacts on the fiscal balance from 2006-07.

Further information can be found in the press release of 10 March 2004 issued by the Minister for Health and Ageing.

National Schools Drug Education Strategy — continuation

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training - - - -

The Government will provide $14.9 million over four years to assist with national school drug education. Funding will be used to continue development of school drug education programmes and teacher training, strategies to address the needs of targeted population groups (for example Indigenous school communities), and monitoring and evaluation.

This measure will involve funding of $3.6 million in 2004-05, $3.7 million in 2005-06, $3.8 million in 2006-07 and $3.8 million in 2007-08. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

New Apprenticeships Incentives Programme — employer incentive for Australian Government agencies

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training -2.7 -2.8 -2.9 -3.1

The Government will reallocate $11.5 million over four years from the New Apprenticeships Incentives Programme to the new Values for Life Initiative. Australian Government agencies will no longer be eligible for incentive payments provided under the New Apprenticeships Incentives Programme as training is widely provided be agencies, particularly for employees in entry level positions. Agencies will continue to provide New Apprenticeships and other training opportunities.

See also the related expense measure titled Values for Life Initiative in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

New Apprenticeships Incentives Programme — targeting women in non-traditional occupations

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training -0.8 -2.1 -2.1 -2.1

The Government will reallocate $7.1 million over four years from the New Apprenticeships Incentives Programme to the new Values for Life Initiative. Employer incentives for women in non-traditional trades will no longer be available for qualifications leading to occupations in retail, hospitality, cleaning and some cooking related fields. Women are well represented across each of these fields, so this employer incentive is not required to encourage their participation.

Certificate III and IV qualifications in Commercial Cooking will continue to receive the incentive.

See also the related expense measure titled Values for Life Initiative in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Our Universities — Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and Charles Darwin University

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 1.5 - - -

The Government will provide $1.5 million in 2003-04 and $1.5 million in 2004-05 to support a cooperative partnership between the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and Charles Darwin University. The partnership will result in enhanced courses and support being offered to Indigenous students in the Northern Territory.

Our Universities — Chair in Child Protection at University of South Australia

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.1

The Government will provide $1 million (indexed) each year for ten years from 2004 to establish a Chair in Child Protection at the University of South Australia. The funding will be used by the University to undertake research into child protection in Australia. The Chair will work to address ways to combat child abuse through consultation with educational agencies, human services agencies and government departments.

Our Universities — information to students

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 4.0 - - -

The Government will provide $4.0 million in 2004-05 to ensure that information is available to current and potential students concerning the higher education reforms announced in the Our Universities: Backing Australia’s Future package, which take effect from 1 January 2005.

Research Evaluation Programme — reprioritisation

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training -0.5 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8

The Government will reallocate $2.9 million over four years from the Research Evaluation Programme to the new Values for Life Initiative. Research and evaluation activity currently carried out by the Research Evaluation Programme will be amalgamated with the Department’s broader research programme.

See also the related expense measure titled Values for Life Initiative in the Education, Science and Training portfolio.

Schools — Capital Grants Programme for isolated non-government schools

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 4.0 4.3 4.3 4.4

The Government will provide $17 million over four years from January 2005 for the construction and refurbishment of Catholic and independent schools in isolated locations in the Northern Territory.

Further information can be found in the press release of 11 March 2004 issued by the Minister for Education, Science and Training.

Schools — independent schools funding guarantee

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 4.1 0.6 0.1 -

The Government will provide $4.8 million over three years to independent non-government schools that would otherwise be disadvantaged from updating the socio-economic status scores for the 2005-08 quadrennium. These scores are a measure of a community’s capacity to financially support their school and are used to determine the amount of general recurrent funding provided to independent non-government schools.

Schools that would otherwise have their funding reduced will continue to receive funding at their current level until it matches the funding entitlement under the socio-economic status score. Schools that have their funding maintained are excluded from this arrangement.

Further information can be found in the press release of 11 March 2004 issued by the Minister for Education, Science and Training.

Schools — integrate Catholic systemic schools into the socio-economic status funding model

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 76.3 86.9 93.3 99.7

The Government will provide an additional $356.2 million over four years to integrate Catholic systemic schools into the socio-economic status (SES) funding model. From 2005, Catholic systemic schools’ funding entitlements will be based either on their SES score or, if the application of the SES formula would result in reduced funding, will be maintained at the level of their 2004 per capita entitlements and adjusted in line with changes in the Average Government School Recurrent Costs amounts.

Further information can be found in the press releases of 29 February 2004 and 11 March 2004 issued by the Minister for Education, Science and Training.

Schools — Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 10.2 5.8 5.2 5.6

The Government will provide $26.8 million over four years towards the establishment of the Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs Programme from 2005.

This programme will bring together the Strategic Assistance for Improving Student Outcomes programme, the Special Education for Non-Government Centre Support Programme and the Grants for National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and Projects Programme.

The additional funding will be used to improve education outcomes for educationally disadvantaged students and to ensure that no sector will experience a reduction in funding as a result of new allocation arrangements. This funding is in addition to the $1.9 billion already included in the forward estimates for the amalgamated programmes.

Further information can be found in the press release of 11 March 2004 issued by the Minister for Education, Science and Training.

University of Western Sydney — establishment of a medical school

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training - 6.0 6.0 6.0

The Government will provide funding of $18 million over three years to establish a medical school at the University of Western Sydney, which will enhance and improve the teaching hospital capacity and the delivery of health and medical services in western and south-western Sydney. Funding is subject to the University of Western Sydney and the NSW State Government each providing contributions that match the Australian Government funding.

Values for Life Initiative

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 6.5 10.5 8.9 8.8

The Government will provide $34.7 million over four years for values, civics and citizenship education initiatives. As part of this funding, every school in Australia will receive an average of $1,600 to conduct forums on values and drug education. In addition, the Government will fund 50 school clusters to promote a national framework on values education and good practice in values education. Schools will be provided with curriculum and assessment resources and National Values Education forums will be held with parents, school principals and teacher educators.

The funding will also provide for a continuation of the Civics and Citizenship Education programme, which assists students to learn about the values underpinning Australia’s democracy. The national website will be maintained as well as a number of specific national projects such as the Simpson ANZAC prize, Celebrating Democracy Week and the National Schools Constitution Convention.

Vocational Education and Training — direct purchase of places for priority groups

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training - - - -

The Government will reallocate $90.4 million over four years from 2003-04 from the proposed Australian National Training Authority Agreement, which was rejected by the States. The Government will use the funds to directly purchase vocational education and training places from providers. These training places will be allocated to priority client groups (such as parents entering or re-entering the workforce, older workers and people with a disability).

This measure will involve funding of $14.3 million in 2003-04, $26.0 million in 2004-05, $39.4 million in 2005-06 and $10.7 million in 2006-07. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

The funding varies from that previously announced as scheduled disability reform legislation has been delayed by the Senate.


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