Karen Andrews’ ministerial reappointment welcomed by STEM sector

The reappointment of Karen Andrews as federal minister for industry, science and technology in the Morrison cabinet has been welcomed by sectors of Australia’s science and technology community.

Andrews was first appointed to the role in August last year after Morrison became prime minister. Morrison announced Andrews would continue in her ministerial role in the new cabinet.

“Karen Andrews will work closely with industry stakeholders to create more and better paid jobs in traditional and emerging industries, and to continue championing science, technology, engineering and mathematics as key career paths for women,” Morrison said.

President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor John Shine, said that Andrews had been strong advocate for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.

“A STEM-skilled MP in this portfolio provides the new Morrison government with a minister who has a deep understanding of the issues facing the sector,” Shine said.

“We look forward to working with Minister Andrews to implement the STEM measures announced in the Federal Budget in April budget, including $3.4 million in new funding to support women in STEM.”

Science and Technology Australia (STA) also welcomed Andrews’ reappointment, along with other key ministers.

“This is an opportunity to achieve the stability our sector has been looking for, and we hope this signals a strategic and whole-of-government approach to empowering science and technology to build a strong future for Australia,” STA president Professor Emma Johnston said.

“Minister Andrews has engaged meaningfully with scientists and technologists for many years as co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Science and recently as minister. STA looks forward to continuing to work with her office as we represent tens of thousands of STEM professionals.”

Johnston said that the Coalition had begun some important projects and that the sector was looking to them to continue their work in this area.

“We saw bold investment in research infrastructure, a visionary National Science Statement, and leadership in gender equity from the Coalition Government,” she said.

“Now we hope the focus turns to forming a detailed whole-of-government plan for STEM; a plan that prioritises stronger government and business investment, attractive STEM education programs, and secure employment for all STEM professionals.”