A Political Way Forward, Without Bowing To The Bigotry

Sometimes the significance of political events eludes many whose daily duty it is to report them, however accurate their accounts may be in detail. We are living at such a time.

The federal election resulted in the discomfiting of the Turnbull Government as its majority shrank to the barest of margins, and in the return of One Nation to the electoral limelight.

The first of these things has mostly been analysed in terms of the diminished personal authority of the Prime Minister, and the second as an unwelcome accident of the double dissolution – the revival of a circus that is both nasty and diverting but probably won’t be around for long.

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IN DEFENCE OF BASIC RESEARCH

 

IN DEFENCE OF BASIC RESEARCH 

Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities annual conference

University of Tasmania

Hobart

Friday 2 September 2016

***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***

 

 

 

 

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STEEL REPORT MUST BE RELEASED BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE

The Liberals must immediately release the Anti-Dumping Commission’s report into the impact of overseas steel makers in the Australian market.

 

The report was handed to Government on 4 April 2016 and since then the Liberals have done nothing but sit on the report. 

 

Australia does not have time to waste when it comes to securing the future of our steel industry.     

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MEMO TO NEW MINISTER: IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO TALK DOWN AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY

It is not the job of the Australian Industry Minister to talk down Australian manufacturing industries, rather than support and advocate for them.

Once again Industry Minister Greg Hunt seems to have missed the memo: having earlier this week said he would redefine the idea of innovation, he has now told struggling industries that he is “raising the drawbridge” on government support.    

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WATT RESEARCH REVIEW MARRED BY LIBERALS’ COMMERCIAL FOCUS

There is an old saying in politics that governments never undertake a review unless they already know what it will deliver. On the evidence, it is perfectly clear that the Watt review of research policy and funding arrange­ments was commissioned on that basis. The government’s complete endorsement of every recommendation is a bit of a giveaway.

 

No doubt there were vigorous debates within the panel, but they never had a chance: the terms of reference denied its members the opportunity to give full expression to their depth and range of experience, instead closely guiding the review’s energies along a narrow path. In the end, they had little choice but to deliver a proposed reconfiguration of the research system that aligns perfectly with the government’s ideology.

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GOVERNMENT INNOVATION REVIEWS STILL MISSING IN ACTION

Two critical Government reviews - into the R&D Tax Incentive and Research Infrastructure - remain missing in action, despite both having been completed and sitting on various Minsters’ desks for months.    

 

The Turnbull Government commissioned a review of the R&D Tax Incentive last year, supposedly to identify ways to improve the scheme’s effectiveness. 

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RESEARCH EXCELLENCE BOOSTS AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITY RANKINGS

Labor congratulates the Australian universities improving the nation’s performance in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, propelled by their successes in research.

 

The unprecedented concentration of Australian institutions in the top 100 is an outstanding result, a testament to the years of record support for university research under the previous Labor Government.

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ROUND THREE OF THE LIBERAL’S INNOVATION AGENDA

Greg Hunt’s comments  in The Australian today that he is “redefining the idea of innovation to apply to all business, old and new” and that it “relates to existing businesses,” heralds the Liberal’s third innovation agenda in just three years.

First the word “innovation” was banned under Tony Abbott. Then it went to being ubiquitous under Malcolm Turnbull. Now the new Minister for Innovation is trying to steal Labor’s clothes.

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MINISTER MUST ACT ON ANTI-DUMPING

Labor calls on the Industry Minister, Greg Hunt, to release immediately the findings of the Anti-Dumping Commission’s report on the impact of Asian steel makers in the Australian market, which was handed to Government on 4 April 2016.

Dumping occurs when goods exported to Australia are priced below their normal value.  An effective and responsive anti-dumping regime is critical to ensuring local businesses do not suffer injury as a result of goods from overseas being dumped in Australia.

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Speech to Declaration of the Victorian Senate Results

I am pleased and honoured to be returned as a Senator for Victoria, and congratulate the other senators declared elected.

Despite public opinion to the contrary, and perhaps experience, I still regard politics as a noble calling.

Since I was first elected in 1993, I have seen 155 senators come and go, four of them twice: Jacinta Collins, Louise Pratt, Don Farrell and Sandy MacDonald.

Since Federation, there have been 580 senators.

The rate of turnover has accelerated. In the last Parliament, the 44th, 45 per cent of senators had less than six years’ experience.

It is important to remember, in a country that claims not to value experience, that there is always more to learn.

As is now expected in Senate polls, there were many candidates – 116 in this state.

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