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Wednesday, 26 November 1986
Page: 3817

(Question No. 3793)

Mr Coleman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, upon notice, on 16 April 1986:

(1) Further to the answer to question No. 2203 (Hansard, 18 March 1986, page 1552) in which the Minister stated that universities are self-governing bodies and Commonwealth Government permission is not required for them to participate in research programs which have the approval of the responsible university authorities, why did the Minister state in a question without notice on 9 April 1986 (Senate Hansard, page 1481) that as far as the Government is aware no universities are engaging directly in Strategic Defence Initiative research and as universities operate within Government policy the Government does not expect that they will.

(2) When were universities required to operate within Government policy.

Mr Dawkins —The Minister for Education has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) and (2) Universities are self-governing institutions and, subject to the conditions of legislation relating to the provision of certain Commonwealth grants, are responsible for determining the nature of their various activities.

As I indicated earlier, I am not aware of any university being interested in making a contribution to the SDI Research Program and I would not expect any to do so.