The Commission Audit report, which examined Australian Government finances, has recommended that public funding of agricultural R&D in Australia be significantly reduced.
The recommendations made by the report suggested that the amount of government funding be reduced to better reflect the mix of private and public benefits. It was suggested that the current cap on dollar for dollar matching of industry contributions by the government (which is currently set at 0.5 percent of gross value of production) should be halved over a 10 year period.
If this were to be adopted, it would mean that the Australian Government’s annual contribution to agricultural R&D through the Rural Research and Development Corporations, currently estimated at $250 million per year, would be significantly reduced.
The implementation of the Commission of Audit’s recommendations, including abolishing Co-Operative research centres, would result in the Australian Government’s annual contribution to agricultural R&D being reduced by approximately more than $100 million per annum over a ten year period.