[LINK] PM's techno vision unveiled (guessed at)
Tue, 30 Jan 2001 09:44:09 +1100
I really must start taking 'happy pills'.
Based on a quick look at the morning papers, I get the following impressions:
1. The R&D Tax Concession Section looks like a Treasury ('save more
money!') policy dressed up as an innovation policy.
2. The additional money for labs and libraries, when divided by 38,
equates to an extra $1.5 million p.a. for the whole of the A.N.U.'s
infrastructure (well, maybe $400,000 in the first year?), which is a
fraction of the reduction that they've endured over the last 5 years.
3. As for 21,000 new student places more for $x billion?
Back-of-an-envelope calculations suggest they might mean 21,000
*student-years*; but that really means about 6,000 places because a degree
takes 3-1/2 years (because some are 4-year degrees).
4. It's unclear whether the HECS announcement for postgrad study means a
lot. A big proportion of enrolments are earning at the same time as
they're studying; so they pay 5% extra tax each year anyway. Okay, maybe
that does still represent a deferral for a few years, hence a loan at an
interest-rate that's equivalent to CPI, and hence a *cheap* loan. But the
discount for up-front payment is high; so the cheapest way to get your
postgrad ed is almost certainly still up-front payment, i.e. the less
well-off are once again disadvantaged. Oh, that's right; it's a Tory
government. Silly me.
5. To the extent that the initiative does deliver, it merely puts back
some of what they've taken out in their first few years, i.e. it's not a
net increase over the life of the government but just a reduced reduction.
6. Delivery begins with a trickle in 2001-2; but the vast majority of the
promises relate to the never-never-land of 3-5 years from now. Each
Treasurer regards himself as being free of any responsibility to measure up
to a predecessor's promises; so only 2001-2 is real, and it's tiny ...
I've ordered the hard-copies from the site. (I haven't yet become a
believer in reading substantial documents off even my 17-inch screen, let
alone a PDA. Now where *did* I put that DynaBook ...).
Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
Visiting Fellow Department of Computer Science
The Australian National University Canberra ACT 0200 AUSTRALIA
Information Sciences Building Room 211 Tel: +61 2 6125 3666