Legislation to abolish the Ministerial veto on Australian Research Council grants will powerfully depoliticise research funding and deliver stronger transparency and accountability in decision-making.
Australia’s peak body for scientists and technologists has welcomed the introduction of the Australian Research Council Amendment (Review Response) Bill 2023 today by Education Minister Jason Clare.
The legislation implements recommendations from the Review of the ARC Act led by Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Professor Susan Dodds and former STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson.
Crucially, the Bill establishes an independent ARC Board to approve grants under funding guidelines set by the Minister – putting these decisions at arm’s length from politics.
The legislation also enshrines the key role of the Australian Research Council to fund discovery research in the ARC’s purpose.
Science & Technology Australia has long advocated to abolish the Ministerial veto on ARC grant funding and congratulates Minister Clare on strengthening Australia’s research funding system.
“These changes will restore confidence in research funding, strengthen certainty for Australia’s outstanding researchers, and prevent Ministerial meddling in complex research funding decisions,” said Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert.
“The sector is deeply grateful to Education Minister Jason Clare for implementing the review recommendations and to the panel for their thoughtful blueprint for modernisation.”
Media contact: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828