Long-term sustainable growth, particularly in developed economies, rests ultimately on expanding the frontiers of knowledge. R&D contributes to growth primarily through creating technological progress and by delivering a supply of highly-skilled workers to the labour force. R&D investment generates strong positive economic impacts.
It is increasingly unlikely that any country will be able to build sustainable and long-term prosperity simply from cheap labour, proprietary capital or natural resources. Australia has to compete on the basis of its research and innovation capacity, not least because its comparative advantage is disproportionately derived from R&D and innovation-intensive sectors.
Under the Liberals gross expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP in Australia fell from 2.12 per cent in 2011 to 1.88 per cent in 2015.
A Shorten Labor Government is committed to reversing the decline in Australia’s research and development performance that has taken place over the past five years.
Labor is the only party committed to lifting Australian spending on R&D from 1.8 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent by 2030.
We are committed to restoring Australia’s international competitiveness, and will work with business, industry, universities and research institutes to do so.