Recent contributions to government policies—February to June 2018

June 25, 2018

The Academy regularly provides the Australian Government with feedback on important policy measures. Following is a round-up of the Academy’s submissions since February.

See all Academy submissions in full

Review of the Foreign Influence Transparency Bill 2017

Given the international nature of science and collaboration, the Academy expressed concerned that the reach of the legislation and its potential impacts on the conduct and communication of legitimate scientific research, conducted in the public interest, do not appear to have been adequately considered. Without clearer exemptions the draft legislation would negatively impact on the conduct of research and on business innovation that relies on science and research.

Read the submission (15 February 2018)

Consultation on the Draft Revision of Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

The Academy had concerns about the extreme brevity of the revised strategy, and made six recommendations to improve the revision.

Read the submission (20 March 2018)

Senate Inquiry into the Sustainable Development Goals

The Academy and Future Earth Australia made a joint submission to this inquiry, stating that Australia’s progress against the Sustainable Development Goals is mixed, and that there are many opportunities to improve understanding and implementation of the SDGs.

Read the submission (4 April 2018)

Inquiry into the management and use of Commonwealth environmental water

The Academy’s National Committee for Geographical Sciences made a submission into this inquiry, stating that it considers the recent water reforms in the Murray Darling Basin to be critical to the ongoing environmental health of the region and downstream areas. For this reason, it is critical these reforms be informed by the best and most rigorous scientific assessments, and their impacts are studied in detail and used to inform future water policy.

Read the submission (10 April 2018)

Consultation on new breeding techniques

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Science made a joint submission to Food Standards Australia New Zealand on foods derived using new breeding techniques, which are technological developments arising from new understandings around breeding, genetics and genetic modification.

Read the submission (17 April 2018)

Joint Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions

In its submission to this inquiry, the Academy stated it would like to see Australian science represented more completely among Canberra’s national institutions. For example, there is no national natural history museum, there is no permanent national facility for collections of historical scientific instruments and artefacts, and there is no national facility dedicated to commemorating and communicating Australia’s history of scientific endeavour and achievement. The establishment of such facilities would play a vital role in evoking a sense of national pride and helping the public engage with critical, science-based issues.

Read the submission (3 May 2018)

Senate Inquiry into Mitochondrial Donation and Related Matters

The submission to this inquiry was prepared by the Academy’s National Committee on Cellular and Developmental Biology, the National Committee on Biomedical Sciences, and the National Committee on Medicine and Public Health, and includes seven recommendations.

Read the submission (11 May 2018)

Third Phase Consultation on the Gene Technology Scheme

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Science made a joint submission to the review of the National Gene Technology Scheme 2018 (Third Phase Consultation). The Academies were generally supportive of the Review, which covers many aspects of gene technology regulation in Australia and synthesises a number of diverse perspectives from across the community. They consider the use of gene technology applications with a history of safe use and no reasonable apprehension of elevated risk should have their regulatory burden reduced.

Read the submission (22 May 2018)

Science and Technology agreements with Italy and Brazil

The Academy made submissions in support of agreements between the Australian Government and the governments of Italy and Brazil, due to our strong connections in science and education.

Read the Italy submission (22 May 2018)
Read the Brazil submission (23 May 2018)

Kosciuszko Wild Horses Heritage Bill 2018

The Academy wrote to NSW Deputy Premier the Hon John Barilaro MP, expressing great concern at the proposed legislation regarding the management of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park. The Academy stated that the Heritage Bill places a priority on a single invasive species over many native species and ecosystems, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. It is incompatible with the principles that underpin Australia’s world-leading protected area system, and with our commitments as a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity. 

Read the letter (1 June 2018)

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