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Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Page: 254


Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (13:19): It is clear that the minister has no intention of answering any questions, so I shall try again. I asked who the minister had consulted with before making a decision not to allow the quarterly payments that would so help small businesses. I would like to know who you consulted with apart from Treasury, who apparently on this occasion have opposed it.

Secondly, I would like to know what modelling or research you have done on the impact of taking $1.1 billion out of research and development in Australia on small and medium enterprises and public institutions that depend on the flow-on impacts from investment in research and development. As I indicated before, quite often these corporations put money in but do it in conjunction with research institutions and universities as well as other small businesses. It is a collaborative approach. What modelling have you down on the impact of taking $1.1 billion out of research and development? I want to know about the flow-on effects to universities in particular, to the CSIRO and to other smaller and medium enterprises. I would like to know if Telstra is one of those corporations that are involved.