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ATSE urges government to invest in STEM and decarbonise economy


The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) has congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on their election success.

The new government has a critical window of opportunity to position Australia as a technological powerhouse driven by a clean and sustainable economy, highly skilled workforce and world-class research activity and commercialisation.

Australia requires bold action to tackle climate change, driven by mature and emerging technologies within the framework of a comprehensive regulatory plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier. ATSE urges the government to meet and beat their current commitment.

Labor’s commitment to a 43 per cent reduction by 2030 is an improvement on past performance and the Powering Australia plan will help to achieve this and create jobs in clean energy. However urgent and ambitious action is needed now to scale renewable technologies, electric vehicles, and restore the Climate Change Authority.

“It’s now or never to make deep cuts to our emissions and we have the technology to do so. We need to fast track to a clean future which delivers jobs, economic growth and prosperity for all Australians,” ATSE president Hugh Bradlow said.

“Australia has a window of opportunity to become a world leader in renewable energy generation, low and negative emission technologies – but that window is rapidly closing. We urge the new Australian Government to act now and not squander our renewable technology advantage by implementing a comprehensive plan that transitions to a net-zero emissions economy, backed by regulation and incentives.”

ATSE also looks forward to collaborating with the government in transforming Australia into a STEM superpower through bolder strategic R&D investment and addressing the shortfall in STEM skilled workers.

Labor’s commitments, including the targeting of 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030 through the Start-up Year program, government procurement policy, and the National Reconstruction Fund, are welcome opportunities. ATSE urges the Labor government to prioritise these initiatives along with the establishment of the proposed defence innovation agency.

“Applied science, technology and engineering continue to help Australia navigate through the pandemic but we need a comprehensive plan that assures Australia’s sovereign capabilities and secures Australia’s economic future,” Bradlow said.

“We will need 100,000 more digitally skilled workers by 2024 and 40,000 more engineers by 2025. The new government must implement a plan to tackle the decline in STEM achievement of Australian school students and recognise this as the foundation for generating game-changing skills, new jobs and abundant economic returns.”

The Academy, which counts more than 900 of Australia’s leading applied scientists, engineers and technologists, looks forward to its continued collaboration with the Australian government in shaping a technology powered, human driven future for all Australians.

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