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Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2021

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2019 - 2020 -2021

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

australian research council amendment BILL 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education and Youth,

the Hon Alan Tudge MP)



australian research council amendment BILL 2021

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2021 (the Bill) is to amend the Australian Research Council Act 2001 (the ARC Act) to apply current indexation rates to existing appropriation amounts and insert a new funding cap for the financial year commencing 1 July 2024.

The Bill supports the financial assistance for approved research programs administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC). These programs fund the high-quality research needed to grow knowledge and innovation for the benefit of the Australian community.

 

The Bill will amend the ARC Act to enable continued financial assistance to be provided for approved research programs administered by the ARC. The ARC supports the highest quality fundamental and applied research and research training through funding schemes under the National Competitive Grants Programs (NCGP). NCGP comprises of two programs—Discovery and Linkage. Funding awarded under the NCGP:

 

·          is allocated on the basis of a competitive peer review process involving national and international assessors; and

·          supports research across all disciplines (with the exception of health and medical research).

 

The ARC Act provides a maximum cap for financial assistance for approved research programs.

 

The amendments are essential as the ARC Act is the legislative basis that supports the financial operations of the ARC research programs through special appropriation mechanisms which must occur each financial year. Specifically, the Bill will alter three existing financial year funding figures for current indexation (for the financial years starting on 1 July 2021, 1 July 2022 and 1 July 2023) and extend the forward estimate period to include the financial year starting on 1 July 2024, resulting in an additional appropriation of $844 million for the period of 2021-22 to 2024-25.

 

The amendments only impact the administered special appropriation; they do not alter the substance of the ARC Act.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

This Bill updates the special appropriation funding cap administered by the ARC to include indexation adjustments and an additional forward estimate for existing schemes within the NCGP. Indexation adjustments and adding the next year of the forward estimate are part of the standard budget process and are administrative in nature.

 

The Bill will alter three existing financial year funding figures for indexation and extend the forward estimate period to include the financial year starting on 1 July 2024. The below table sets out the proposed, current, and difference in the funding amount of each financial year, the total of the additional appropriation being $844 million for the period of 1 July 2021-22 to 2024-25.

 

 

2021-22

2022-23

2023-24

2024-25

Proposed

$815,271,000

$815,288,000

$812,207,000

$811,169,000

Current

$804,411,000

$804,442,000

$801,410,000

0

Difference

+$10,860,000

+$10,846,000

+$10,797,000

+$811,169,000

 



 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights

(Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

 

Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2021

 

 

The Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2021 (the Bill) is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the Bill

 

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Australian Research Council Act 2001 (the ARC Act) applying current indexation rates to existing appropriation amounts and inserting a new funding cap for the financial year commencing 1 July 2024.

 

The amendments in the Bill seek to increase the general financial support available to the research programs that the ARC administers.

 

The amendments only impact on administered special appropriations; they do not alter the substance of the ARC Act.

 

Analysis of human rights implications

 

The Bill amends the ARC Act by applying indexation against appropriations for existing ARC research programs and including an additional figure for the last year of the forward Budget estimates (for the financial year starting on 1 July 2024). As a result, this Bill does not have any human rights implications.

 

Conclusion

 

The Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

 

Minister for Education and Youth, the Hon Alan Tudge MP



 

australian research council amendment BILL 2021

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

1.     This clause is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Act to be the Australian Research Council Amendment Act 2021.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

2.     The table in this clause sets out that the Act will commence the day after Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 - Schedules

 

3.     This clause is a formal provision that gives effect to the provisions in Schedule 1 of the Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2021 (the Bill).

 

Schedule 1    Amendments

 

Australian Research Council Act 2001

 

4.     This Schedule amends the Australian Research Council Act 2001 (the ARC Act) to apply current indexation rates to existing appropriation amounts and insert a new funding cap for the financial year commencing on 1 July 2024.

 

Item 1 - At the end of subsection 48(2)

 

5.     Division 1 of Part 7 of the ARC Act provides for financial assistance for approved research programs. Section 48 sets out the years to which this Division applies.

 

6.     Item 1 inserts a new paragraph into subsection 48(2), the effect of which is to provide that Division 1 of Part 7 also applies to the financial year starting on 1 July 2024. 

 

Items 2 - 4 - Section 49

 

1.     Section 49 of the ARC Act specifies the annual funding caps for the purposes of Division 1 of Part 7 (financial assistance for approved research programs).

 

2.     Currently, paragraphs 49(v) to (x) provide that the annual funding caps for the financial years starting on 1 July 2021 is $804,411,000, 1 July 2022 is $804,442,000 and 1 July 2023 is $801,410,000.

 

3.     Items 2, 3 and 4 increase the annual funding caps for financial years starting on 1 July 2021 to $815,271,000, 1 July 2022 to $815,288,000 and 1 July 2023 to $812,207,000. This adjusts funding from 2020-21 to 2021-22 price levels to support the financial operations of ARC’s research programs.

 

Item 5 - At the end of section 49

 

1.     Item 5 inserts a new paragraph (y) into section 49 to specify that, for the financial year starting on 1 July 2024, the proposed annual funding cap is $811,169,000. This adds new maximum cap for the year 2024-25.