ANSTO funding of The University of Queensland (UQ) for the Centre for Advanced Imaging
Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
(Question No. 2561)
Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, upon notice, on 21 November 2012:
(1) Was the $2 million allocated to The University of Queensland (UQ) for the Centre for Advanced Imaging approved by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Board.
(2) Was the funding allocated in four tranches of slightly less than $500 000.
(3) Is the CEO's spending limit without Board approval $500 000.
(4) Was there a lack of due process and honesty on this matter.
(5) Was Professor Paul Greenfield aware of, or involved in brokering, this arrangement.
(6) Does UQ have experience in operating a cyclotron or PET [Positron Emission Tomography] radiopharmaceutical development; if not, why did ANSTO make its own highly experienced researchers redundant while allocating large sums of public money to an institution with no track record in the field.
(7) Does Axiom Pharmaceuticals have experience in PET radiopharmaceutical development; if not, why was Axiom Pharmaceuticals regarded as an appropriate entity to be given access to ANSTO and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy funds.
(8) Who owns Axiom Pharmaceuticals.
Senator Chris Evans: The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:
(2) No. The funding is to be paid in four tranches of exactly $500,000.
(5) Professor Greenfield was not involved in brokering this arrangement. ANSTO cannot speak as to his awareness of the arrangement.
(6) The decision to fund the creation of the Centre for Advanced Imaging at the University of Queensland was made by government through a grant from the Education Investment Fund, not ANSTO. As noted in the answer provided to parliamentary question on notice no. 1876, ANSTO's decision to contribute a small part of the total cost of the project was based on the fact that ANSTO will receive access to more than $2 million worth of equipment, which is vital to a range of collaborative research projects.
(7) ANSTO was not involved in the decision by the University of Queensland to partner with Axiom Pharmaceuticals in relation to the operation of the Centre for Advanced Imaging. The question should therefore be directed to the University of Queensland.
(8) See response to question 7.