Academy submissions to government

The Academy recently made a number of submissions to important government consultations on setting Australia’s post-2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions; Australia’s Antarctic Program; the regulation of stem cell therapies, proposed changes to the Defence Trade Control Act; and the review to strengthen independent medical research institutes.

Read all the Academy’s submissions

Review to strengthen independent medical research institutes

[The Academy] highlighted the need for collaboration in medical research

The Academy responded to a Government discussion paper regarding the review to strengthen independent medical research institutes.

The Academy’s response to the discussion paper highlighted the need for collaboration in medical research; longer-term career support for researchers; and for clear recommendations with regards to properly funding the indirect costs of research.

The discussion paper followed the release late last year of an issues paper, where the Academy response covered possible efficiencies in the sector, the need for international science collaboration, and career structure and workforce issues.

Defence Trade Controls Act

There have been two separate consultations on the Defence Trade Control Act to which the Academy has put forward submissions.

The first consultation in January focused on proposed Amendments to the Bill which were developed following concern within the sector that the Act places too heavy a regulatory burden on researchers and research organisations. The Academy’s submission to the consultation on the draft Amendment Bill welcomed the proposed changes and the efforts made to ensure the Act focuses on those instances where the supply, publication or brokering of controlled technology with potential military application is likely to present a risk. The Academy recommended that a further 12 month delay to the start date of the offence provisions was needed to allow the sector to put in place the necessary compliance procedures, and the Government has acted on this recommendation.

Separate to the government consultation on the proposed amendments, in February the Senate called for submissions on the sector’s experience with the consultation process for the Amendment Bill. The Academy’s submission noted that whilst the timeframe for the consultation process was tight, there had been substantial consultation with the sector, and that the substantive issues of concern had largely been resolved through the trial implementation and consultation process, and in the proposed amendments to the Bill.

Regulation of autologous stem cell therapies

The Academy raised concerns with the Minister for Health on regulatory loopholes that were being exploited by some practitioners offering unproven stem cell therapy treatments.

The Department of Health subsequently invited the Academy to put forward a submission to a Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) consultation on the regulation of autologous stem cells. The Academy made recommendations on areas where improvements in the current regulations could be made, as well as calling for clarification of the responsibilities of different agencies with oversight and regulation of stem cell therapies.

Supporting Australia's Antarctic Program

The Australian National Audit Office invited the Academy to put forward a submission to its performance audit, Supporting Australia’s Antarctic Program. With input from the National Committee for Antarctic Research the Academy prepared a summary of the main points from its previous submission to the 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan.

The Academy recommended that Australia should aim to reduce its carbon emissions significantly over the next 15 years

Setting Australia’s post-2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions

The Government requested advice on what Australia’s post-2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions should be. The Academy recommended that Australia should aim to reduce its carbon emissions significantly over the next 15 years as part of a global effort to prevent the worst effects of global warming. The Academy advised that based on the best available evidence, Australia should commit to a target of 30 to 40% below 2000 levels, consistent with the longer term goal of approaching zero carbon emissions by 2050.


Academy Newsletter Issue 100

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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