The first draft of the legislation — intended to keep track of the influence of foreign governments in Australia — would have captured thousands of academics collaborating on world-leading research with international colleagues.
This would have placed significant new red tape and restrictions on Australia’s efforts to work with international partners on cutting-edge technologies.
In a supplementary submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Universities Australia said amendments proposed by Government had gone a long way to resolve the sector’s concerns with the original proposal.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said that the proposed amendments were a sensible way to make the scheme more workable.
“Every time that an Australian academic works together with an overseas colleague, they bring valuable new ideas and expertise home to Australia,” she said.
“These amendments mean that our incredibly talented researchers can spend more time solving Australia’s big problems, and less time on paperwork.”
During her testimony to the committee today, Ms Catriona Jackson thanked the Attorney-General Christian Porter and the Government for working to address the issues raised by the sector.
“I would again like to place on the record my thanks to the office of the Attorney General and departmental officials who have worked constructively with the sector on this matter.”