Greens slam Liberals for continuous attacks on research and academic freedom
Greens science and research spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today slammed the Liberals for their continued attacks on research and academic freedom. Mr Bandt said actions of Minister Birmingham and his successor, Minister Tehan, show the contempt with which the government holds the science and research community.
“The Liberals anti-science and anti-research agenda started with Tony Abbott and has continued long after his departure,” said Mr Bandt.
“Simon Birmingham’s decision to veto 11 research projects that were recommended by experts for funding is a disgraceful attack on academic freedom and independence.
“This veto is another example of power being wielded in secrecy. This latest politicisation of research represents yet another capitulation to the hard-right backbench.
“This government is putting Australia’s international reputation at risk.
“I will be writing to Minister Tehan to call on him to reverse the decision and commit to fully-funding the previously rejected grants and to provide a full explanation for what occurred in November last year.
“The new so called ‘national interest test’ announced today is another example of policy on the run and another attack on academic freedom. I understand there is already a requirement for each grant application to show the ‘national benefit’.
“The Greens will be investigating any legislative or regulatory options available to ensure that the Minister is compelled to publicly disclose the reasons why any grants recommended by the ARC are rejected and to safeguard academic freedom and independence of research funding decisions in Australia.”
Contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054