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Thursday, 3 March 2011
Page: 2300

Mrs MIRABELLA (10:09 AM) —I rise to indicate that the coalition will be supporting the Australian Research Council Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2010. This is a bill to amend the ARC Act to alter its administered funding arrangements. Given that this is the pretext for this debate, we are happy to accept and support the government’s actions in bringing these amendments to the House. We acknowledge and respect that this bill is not about changing the substance of the act itself.

The Australian Research Council has played a long and central role in helping to ensure the excellence of our country’s research, including at a global level. The coalition has long recognised the value and importance of government funding for that very high quality research, including by providing the ARC with significant increases in funding during the life of the Howard government, especially through the $5.3 billion Backing Australia’s Ability package. So the government is correct on this occasion in introducing this legislation—

Mr Craig Thomson interjecting

Ms Hall interjecting

Mrs MIRABELLA —I am glad to see that there is furious agreement from the other side—to ensure that the ARC continues to receive an appropriate level of administered funding to support its activities. I commend the bill to the House.