Last night Senate Estimates exposed that former Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, secretly vetoed 11 humanities research projects in an attempt to pander to extreme right wing elements of the Liberal-National Coalition. 
These projects, which had been independently approved by Australian Research Council, were rejected without explanation. 

This is political correctness gone mad by an out of touch government which is pandering to its knuckle dragging and right wing philistines.   
Last time this happed – in 2004/2005 – there was an outcry from the Australian research community when then Minister Brenden Nelson also vetoed humanities grants – which had also been recommended by the ARC – because they were politically out of favour.
The actions of Minister Birmingham once again bring into question the politicisation of the research grants program by a Liberal Government. 
The suppressed grants were in arts, culture, music, history and literature.
Their rejection demonstrates a disgraceful contempt for scholarship by this government.  
These were grants from Australian’s leading research universities.
In an unprecedented move, the Minister chose to censor applications for Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Grants and the highly prestigious Future Fellowships.
Even Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that we must go beyond the titles of grant applications when choosing to fund research and leave it to the experts. 
“So, I would say look beyond the headlines of some of these projects.”
Scott Morrison, Interview 2GB, 22 August 2016
This is a Government that says one thing but does another.  

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  • Trish Brown
    commented 2018-10-29 15:15:42 +1100
    Thank you to Kim Carr for raising this diabolical insult to our elite researchers and universities, on a political whim with no accountability or justification. No respect for due process and fairness, no consideration of the impact on the careers, reputations, promotion opportunities or the months of work and cost involved on all concerned, including the reviewers. No thought to the benefits to Australia to have the research done. If it is a successful grant in a long standing and respected system, a politician has no place interfering. We need to rely on due process in our country to have any trust in our political system.