When parliament resumes on Tuesday 8 February, Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi will move to establish a Senate inquiry into her private members’ bill, the Australian Research Council Amendment (Ensuring Research Independence) Bill 2018.
Senator Faruqi’s bill would remove ministerial discretion in relation to the approval of research grants administered by the Australian Research Council.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Researchers and universities are absolutely fed-up with this nonsensical, harmful veto power which allows targeted political interference in research funding.
“Two Liberal ministers have now vetoed seventeen projects in the last four years.
“I have a bill that would remove this power and it’s about time the Senate took a look at it.
“By hearing from university communities, academics, researchers and unions, the Senate will be forced to confront the real-world, damaging impact the veto has.
“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 come to the table and commit to supporting the removal of the ministerial veto ahead of the federal election.”