Senate debates

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Motions

Australian Research Council

4:30 pm

Photo of Kim CarrKim Carr (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) Share this | Hansard source

Labor's exposure in Senate estimates of the secret political manipulation of the Australian Research Council has rightly shocked the Australian research community. The government's response to engage in the denigration of researchers and to impose an Orwellian-sounding national interest test has been rightly unanimously condemned by scholars and universities. The so-called national interest test is nothing more than an instrument for the further political manipulation of an independent, peer reviewed process, nor is it needed. Scholars already have to prove the national benefit and impact of their research proposals. Labor have announced that if a minister of a Shorten Labor government decides not to fund a grant recommended by the ARC, we will explain ourselves to the public through the parliament providing reasons. We will lift the veil of secrecy and will enshrine our commitment in legislation. We will remove the national interest test. Only Labor will restore integrity, confidence and trust to the Australian Research Council, and it will regain the esteem it held when we were last in office. (Time expired)

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