BOARD CAN'T RESTORE SCIENCE FUNDINGInternal Affairs
The Lottery Grants Board is not in a position to restore funding for science, Internal Affairs Minister and Grants Board Chairperson Jack Elder said today.
Responding to a call by Neville Blampied of the Association of University Staff, he said while it is true the Lotteries Commission recorded a higher level of profit last year, the Board actually had less to allocate as it needed to replenish its reserves.
"The Board works on projected profit levels determined at the beginning of each financial year by the Lotteries Commission," Mr Elder said. "It is therefore vital the Board keep a minimum of $5million in reserves to enable it to meet its commitments in the event of the Commission not reaching the forecast target."
Mr Elder said the Board continued to come under increasing pressure from worthy causes and has had to take some hard decisions over the past few years in order for it to continue to make meaningful contributions to priority sectors.
"The Board reassesses its priorities annually and will continue to do so," Mr Elder said. "When the Board made its decision to cut the science fund it was aware the government had increased significantly expenditure on science and research."