The Defence Trade Controls Act regulates the supply of technology relating to defence and strategic goods and covers universities and research organisations.
The amended Bill is the result of significant work by all stakeholders over the last two years and will remove impediments to researchers publishing and corresponding in a global research environment.
Deputy Chief Executive of Universities Australia Anne-Marie Lansdown said Universities Australia was pleased that the Government had listened to the concerns raised by universities.
“The amended legislation strikes the right balance between ensuring Australia’s security interests are protected and reducing the regulatory burden on universities, research organisations and industry,” Ms Lansdown said.
“In particular, the additional 12 month delay to the commencement of the offence provisions will ensure universities are able to establish robust and practical compliance processes that address any implementation issues as they arise.
“Universities Australia would like to particularly acknowledge the crucial role of the Strengthened Export Controls Steering Group, chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb, in achieving this result.
“The positive approach taken by the Defence Export Controls Office (DECO) has also been instrumental to the final outcome in the Bill and we look forward to continuing to work with them during the next stage of implementation.
“There will continue to be a need for expert advice, as there is still considerable work and consultation to be undertaken during the next phase.
“The university sector stands ready to continue to play an active role in ensuring the best policy and operational outcomes for both the Australian Government and the research sector,” Ms Lansdown concluded.