Opposition News Release 18 October 2012
As tertiary education minister Chris Evans refused at Senate Estimates on 17 October to guarantee that uncommitted research grants will not be cut or clawed back, opposition spokesperson Senator Brett Mason says universities and research institutions have every right to be worried.
Hundreds of projects and thousands of jobs are potentially at risk, should the government delay the funding, or worse, claw it back altogether.
Mason also said evidence emerged that bodies that administer these grants, such as the Australian Research Council, have not been consulted and their input has not been sought about the grant programs’ performance.
The main programs affected by the “freeze” are:
- Industrial Transformation Research Program ($236 million)
- Cooperative Research Centres ($150 million)
- Education Investment Fund – Regional Priorities Round ($500 million)
NHMRC grants, various science grants worth around $75 million, as well as smaller grants programs administered by the Australian Research Council are also affected.