Last night was the release of the 2011/12 federal budget. Prior to its release I was concerned that two outcomes could have a big impact on our bid.
The first concern was that the government would decrease its contribution to industry R&D levies. It was positive to hear that this did not eventuate.
Unfortunately the second concern did eventuate with the government removing funds from the CRC program. The impact on our re-bid is that the competition will increase as the total pool of available funds will decrease this year. As stated by Tony Peacock today, this may mean that there is one less CRC funded in this round. Tony further stated in his press release that 10 years ago the CRC program was 50% of the size of the NHMRC and yet now the CRC program will be just 10%. It is dissapointing that a very valuable Australian asset is losing the political support it deserves.
It is still all go with the bid and the outcomes have solidified our efforts to make sure we submit a very strong bid. With the strong resource committment from our participants and the multi-plant industry focus of our bid we should have a strong case for funding.