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Wednesday, 16 October 2002
Page: 5337


Senator CARR (6:48 PM) — Tomorrow, when we return to the Research Agencies Legislation Amendment Bill 2002, I want to make a more substantive contribution, so I will be in continuation at that point. The Labor Party will be supporting this legislation. However, there will be a second reading amendment and we have some serious concerns that we will need to pick up on in the committee stages of the bill, which I am sure the officers who are here tonight will be only too pleased to hear!

We have had a Senate inquiry into this matter. There are some significant issues in regard to the commercialisation of research within these particular research agencies. This bill seeks to free up the capacity of these research agencies to undertake contractual work without ministerial approval. This raises some issues in regard to the level of risk that our research agencies will be exposed to, and it raises some questions about the impact of the commercialisation strategies that are being pursued by the management of these research agencies. I will go into these matters in further detail later. I also have some concerns about the protections regarding probity and governance.

Debate interrupted.


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Brandis)—Order! It being 6.50 p.m., we now move to consideration of government documents.