Australian Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has called news that the former Education Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham, personally intervened to block research grants outrageous. She has also called for a completely independent process, free from Ministerial interference.
Senator Faruqi said: "As a former academic, I am horrified that the Minister intervened to block research grants. This is a massive and outrageous overreach from the Government.
"Research Grants are not there for the Minister to pick and choose based on his own political prejudices. The Australian Research Council should be trusted to guide research funding, free from political interference.
“Academic research is too valuable to be hijacked by a narrow ideological agenda.
"No Minister can be trusted with the power to block research grants. There should be a completely independent process, separate from Ministerial interference," she concluded.