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7       Medical Research Future Fund Bill 2015

Medical Research Future Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2015

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Minister for Human Services (Senator Payne)—That these bills be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

Question put and passed.

Bills read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bills.

 

 

 

In the committee

Bills, taken together and as a whole by leave, debated.

Senator McLucas moved the following amendments in respect of the Medical Research Future Fund Bill 2015 together by leave:

Clause 4, page 3 (lines 18 to 22), omit “Initially, the Fund’s investments are a portion of the investments of the Health and Hospitals Fund which was established under the Nation-building Funds Act 2008 . Additional amounts may also be credited to the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account ”, substitute “Amounts are credited to the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account in accordance with determinations by the responsible Ministers”.

Clause 5, page 6 (lines 3 to 5), omit the definition of Health and Hospitals Fund .

Clause 5, page 6 (lines 6 to 9), omit the definition of Health and Hospitals Fund Special Account .

Clause 10, page 12 (lines 6 to 10), omit “Initially, its investments are a portion of the investments of the Health and Hospitals Fund which was established under the Nation-building Funds Act 2008 . Additional amounts may also be credited to the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account ”, substitute “Amounts are credited to the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account in accordance with determinations by the responsible Ministers”.

Clause 15, page 16 (line 23), omit “amounts referred to in paragraph 34(4)(a) are”, substitute “amount referred to in paragraph 34(4)(a) is”.

Clause 19, page 20 (line 21), omit “Agency; or”, substitute “Agency.”

Clause 19, page 20 (lines 22 to 24), omit subparagraph (f)(iii).

Clause 34, page 36 (lines 15 to 20), omit paragraph (4)(a), substitute:

                              (a)  the principle that the total amount (in nominal terms) that has been credited to the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account under section 15 should be preserved over the long-term;

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and negatived.

Question—That the Medical Research Future Fund Bill 2015 stand as printed—divided, at the request of Senator McLucas, in respect of clauses 12 and 13.

Clauses 12 and 13 agreed to.

Senator McLucas moved the following amendments in respect of the Medical Research Future Fund Bill 2015 together by leave:

Clause 4, page 4 (lines 12 and 13), omit “Priorities. The Health Minister takes the Priorities into account”, substitute “Priorities and to make recommendations to the Health Minister on providing financial assistance. The Health Minister must take the recommendations and the Priorities into account”.

Clause 10, page 12 (lines 23 to 28), omit “The Health Minister takes the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities (which are determined by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board under Part 2A) into account in making decisions about the financial assistance that is provided from the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account ”, substitute “The Health Minister makes decisions about the financial assistance that is provided from the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account following recommendations by the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board and taking into account the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities (which are determined by the Advisory Board under Part 2A)”.

Clause 15A, page 17 (lines 14 to 16), omit subclause (2), substitute:

     (2)   The Health Minister must not require the Finance Minister to debit an amount unless:

                              (a)  the Health Minister has received a recommendation regarding the debiting of the amount from the Advisory Board; and

                              (b)  the Health Minister has taken into account the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities that are in force.

  (2A)   A requirement under subclause (1) is of no effect unless:

                              (a)  the Health Minister has caused to be laid before each House of the Parliament:

                                                  (i)   the Advisory Board’s recommendations regarding the debiting of the amount; and

                                                 (ii)   if the recommendation was that the amount not be debited—the Minister’s reasons for requiring that the amount be debited contrary to that advice; and

                              (b)  both Houses of the Parliament by resolution have approved the making of the requirement.

Clause 32A, page 27 (lines 8 to 10), omit “Priorities. The Health Minister takes the Priorities into account in making decisions in relation to the financial assistance provided from the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account ”, substitute “Priorities and make recommendations to the Health Minister on providing financial assistance. The Health Minister makes decisions about the financial assistance that is provided from the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account following recommendations by the Advisory Board and taking into account the Priorities”.

Clause 32C, page 28 (before line 13), before paragraph (a), insert:

                            (aa)  to make recommendations to the Minister on financial assistance to be provided from the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account ; and

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put.

The committee divided—

AYES, 22

Senators—

Bilyk

Gallacher

Marshall

O’Neill

Brown

Gallagher

McAllister

Polley

Bullock

Lambie

McEwen

Singh

Collins

Lazarus

McLucas

Sterle

Conroy

Lines

Moore

Urquhart (Teller)

Dastyari

Ludwig

 

 

 

NOES, 43

Senators—

Back

Fawcett

McKenzie

Seselja

Bernardi

Fierravanti-Wells

Muir

Siewert

Birmingham

Fifield

Parry

Sinodinos

Brandis

Hanson-Young

Payne

Smith

Bushby (Teller)

Heffernan

Reynolds

Wang

Canavan

Leyonhjelm

Rhiannon

Waters

Cash

Lindgren

Rice

Whish-Wilson

Colbeck

Ludlam

Ronaldson

Williams

Cormann

Macdonald

Ruston

Wright

Di Natale

Madigan

Ryan

Xenophon

Edwards

McGrath

Scullion

 

 

 

Question negatived.

Senator McLucas moved the following amendments in respect of the Medical Research Future Fund Bill 2015 together by leave:

Clause 5, page 4 (line 26), after “Board”, insert “of the NHMRC”.

Clause 32B, page 28 (line 4), after “Advisory Board”, insert “of the NHMRC”.

Clause 32B, page 28 (after line 4), after subclause (1), insert:

  (1A)   The Advisory Board is taken to be a Principal Committee within the meaning of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 , other than for the purposes of the following provisions of that Act:

                              (a)  sections 5D and 5E;

                              (b)  section 35;

                               (c)  section 41;

                              (d)  section 80;

                               (e)  subsections 82(1C) and (2).

  (1B)   This section has effect despite the definition of Principal Committee in section 4 of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 .

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and negatived.

 

 

 

Statement by Chair of Committees : The Chair of Committees (Senator Marshall) made a statement indicating that as a Government amendment to the Medical Research Future Fund Bill 2015, circulated as a request, did not have a clear, direct and necessary effect on an appropriation, it could not be regarded as an increase in a charge or burden on the people within the meaning of section 53 of the Constitution. It should therefore not be moved as a request and would be treated as an amendment.

 

 

 

On the motion of the Minister for Finance (Senator Cormann) the following amendments, taken together by leave, were debated and agreed to:

Medical Research Future Fund Bill 2015 :

Clause  5 , page 7 (lines 4 to 7) , omit the definition of medical innovation , substitute:

medical innovation includes:

                              (a)  the application and commercialisation of medical research for the purpose of improving the health and wellbeing of Australians; and

                              (b)  the translation of medical research into new or better ways of improving the health and wellbeing of Australians.

Clause  15A , page 17 (lines 10 to 12) , omit Note 1, substitute:

Note:         The Health Minister must report on matters relating to the financial assistance provided from the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account (see section 57A).

Clause  15A , page 17 (line 13) , omit Note 2 .

Clause  15A , page 17 (lines 14 to 16) , omit subclause ( 2 ), substitute:

     (2)   In determining whether to require the Finance Minister to debit an amount, the Health Minister:

                              (a)  must take into account the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities that are in force; and

                              (b)  has the power to seek expert advice on the merits of making the grant to which the debit relates; and

                               (c)  may consider any other relevant matter.

Clause  15A , page 17 (after line 17) , at the end of the clause, add:

Note:         The Health Minister may, under section 61A, delegate a power under this section.

Clause  21 , page 21 (after line 17) , at the end of subclause ( 1 ), add:

Note:         The Health Minister must publish on the internet information about the grant—see section 58.

Clause  24 , page 22 (line 21) , omit “ Note ”, substitute “Note 1”.

Clause  24 , page 22 (after line 22) , at the end of the clause, add:

Note 2:      A body that receives a grant may be acting in partnership with an overseas body or other body in relation to the medical research or medical innovation.

Clause  29 , page 24 (after line 10) , at the end of subclause ( 1 ), add:

Note:         The Health Minister must publish on the internet information about the grant—see section 58.

Clause  32D , page 29 (after line 19) , at the end of subclause ( 3 ), add:

Note:         The Advisory Board is also required to provide a consultation process before determining the Strategy—see section 32EA.

Clause  32E , page 30 (after line 22) , at the end of subclause ( 3 ), add:

Note:         The Advisory Board is also required to provide a consultation process before determining the Priorities—see section 32EA.

Page 31 (after line 7) , at the end of Division  3 , add:

32EA   Consultation process before determining an Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy or Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities

     (1)   Before determining an Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy, or Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities, the Advisory Board must provide a process for consulting:

                              (a)  organisations with expertise in medical research or medical innovation; and

                              (b)  organisations that represent consumers who benefit from medical research or medical innovation; and

                               (c)  any other person or organisation.

     (2)   This section does not limit section 17 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .

Clause  32G , page 32 (line 19) , after “ management ”, insert “ or delivery ”.

Clause  32G , page 32 (line 22) , omit “ commercialisation. ”, substitute “ commercialisation; ”.

Clause  32G , page 32 (after line 22) , at the end of subclause ( 2 ), add:

                               (g)  philanthropy;

                              (h)  consumer issues relating to health.

Clause  54 , page 49 (line 11) , omit “ on the ”, substitute “on matters relating to the ”.

Clause  57A , page 50 (after line 29) , after paragraph ( 2 )( a ), insert:

                            (aa)  a description of the processes for determining the grants of financial assistance; and

Clause  58 , page 51 (lines 7 to 11) , omit the clause, substitute:

58  Health Minister must publish information

     (1)   As soon as practicable after any of the following amounts have been debited, the Health Minister must publish on the internet information about the grant to which the debit relates:

                              (a)  an amount debited from the COAG Reform Fund under subsection 21(1);

                              (b)  an amount debited from the MRFF Health Special Account under subsection 26(1);

                               (c)  an amount debited from the Medical Research Future Fund Special Account under subsection 29(1).

     (2)   Without limiting subsection (1), the information must include the following:

                              (a)  the amount of the grant;

                              (b)  the person or body to whom the grant was paid;

                               (c)  any other relevant matter.

Clause  62 , page 53 (line 32) , before “ The ”, insert “ (1) ”.

Clause  62 , page 54 (after line 2) , at the end of the clause, add:

     (2)   Without limiting subsection (1), the review must consider whether financial assistance provided under this Act has:

                              (a)  complemented and enhanced other financial assistance provided by the Commonwealth for medical research and medical innovation, including through the National Health and Medical Research Council; and

                              (b)  otherwise affected the total amount of other financial assistance provided by the Commonwealth for medical research and medical innovation.

Medical Research Future Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2015 :

Schedule  3 , page 19 (after line 11) , after item  1A , insert:

1B  Subsection 32EA(2)

Omit “ Legislative Instruments Act 2003 ”, substitute “ Legislation Act 2003 ”.

 

 

 

Explanatory memorandum : Senator Cormann tabled a supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to the government amendments to be moved to the bills.

 

 

 

Senator Lazarus moved the following amendment in respect of the Medical Research Future Fund Bill 2015:

Clause 32G, page 32 (after line 29), at the end of the clause, add:

     (5)   An appointment under subsection (1) is of no affect until:

                              (a)  the Health Minister has caused to be laid before each House of the Parliament a statement:

                                                  (i)   recommending the appointment of the person; and

                                                 (ii)   outlining the field mentioned in subsection (2) in which the person has experience or knowledge; and

                              (b)  both Houses of the Parliament by resolution have approved the making of the appointment.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.

Bills, as amended, agreed to.

Bills to be reported with amendments.

 

 

 

The Deputy President (Senator Marshall) resumed the chair and the Chair of Committees reported accordingly.

On the motion of Senator Cormann the report from the committee was adopted and the bills read a third time.

 

 

 

At 12.45 pm—