Greens demand Senate investigation into research veto

When parliament resumes on Tuesday, February 8, Australian Greens education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi will propose a Senate inquiry into her private member’s bill, the Australian Research Council (Ensuring Research Independence) Amendment Bill 2018.

Senator Faruqi’s bill would remove the minister’s discretion over the approval of research grants administered by the Australian Research Council.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Researchers and universities are absolutely fed up with this absurd and harmful veto power that allows targeted political interference in research funding.

“Two Liberal cabinet ministers have now vetoed seventeen projects over the past four years.

“I have a bill that would remove that power and it’s time for the Senate to consider it.

“By listening to academic communities, scholars, researchers and unions, the Senate will be compelled to address the real and damaging impact of the veto.

“Political interference has no place in research funding. The actions of the current government have been simply despicable in this regard.

“I hope that through this process Labor can finally sit down to the table and commit to supporting the removal of the cabinet veto ahead of the federal election.”

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Norman D. Briggs