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Tuesday, 7 May 1985
Page: 1476


Senator PUPLICK(9.53) -I do not intend to allow the Bill to pass without making one observation at least on the comments Senator Button made about the general approach in terms of funding and of directing the matter of picking winners, as it were. Senator Button has sought to make a virtue of science funding being done on the basis of arm's length decisions, as if that were the consistent and coherent policy put in place by this Government. It is quite clear in terms of policy which the Minister for Science (Mr Barry Jones) has been pursuing in regard to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and in terms of the Government's direction about picking sunrise industries and identifying them specifically as areas for funding and it is apparent from this Bill that the argument the Government puts forward that it is not in the process of directly deciding where research and investment money goes is not a tenable argument.

To say that it is proposed to keep all these things at arm's length is an argument which Senator Button cannot sustain in relation to either this Bill or any other science or research and development Bill. To that extent his failure to answer the points raised by members of the Opposition in the course of the second reading debate exposes just the amount of interest he has taken in constructive comments that have been made about this Bill. He has displayed about the same amount of interest in that as he has actually had in who spoke on the Bill and what sorts of speeches they made.

Clauses 1 to 7 agreed to.

Clause 8.