Release type: Media Release


Meeting Australia’s skills, education and research challenges


Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

The consolidation of Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research into a single portfolio signals the Government’s determination to ensure we meet the needs of the future economy, Senator Chris Evans said today.

“The new Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education will enable us to build strong links between industry, innovation, science, research and tertiary education,” Senator Evans said.

“These are critical connections to ensure we meet the needs of industry and provide Australians with the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

“This work is central to the Government’s agenda and I look forward to working with Minister Combet to make sure industry and our workforce is equipped for the challenges ahead.”

Stakeholders have long advocated for the reintegration of the Tertiary Education, Science and Research portfolios.

“This will provide greater certainty for our universities and ensure our record investment in research is even more closely linked with our education and skills priorities,” Senator Evans said.

“There are great opportunities ahead for Australian science including the final stages of the Square Kilometre Array telescope bid being determined in early 2012.

“I thank my predecessor, Senator Kim Carr, for the excellent work he has done in this area.

“I also look forward to driving the Government’s major reform agenda in 2012 aimed at ensuring we have the skilled workforce we need to meet the demands of industry.”

Senator Evans paid tribute to Secretary Lisa Paul and the staff of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

“I am proud of our achievements in Workplace Relations and Jobs including our historic commitment to fund equal pay in the community sector, protecting our most vulnerable workers in the clothing and textile industry, the introduction of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal legislation, the support of Tasmania’s forestry workers and the creation of thousands of new jobs across the economy.

“I have proudly advocated the benefits of the Fair Work system which has restored balance and fairness to our nation’s workplaces.”