Education Minister Dan Tehan’s requirement for a research national interest test looks like the sort of thing the prime minister approves of. Not quite.
Back in August 2016 then treasurer, Scott Morrison responded to a News Limited appallathon over HASS research saying of grant agencies, “we expect total accountability from all these bodies and I think what you’re pointing out will raise a lot of concerns on people’s minds.”
But the then treasurer added; “there was a project a while back which had to do with the research into snails and it copped a lot of flak. Well, that was actually a project that was looking at the infestation of particular insects that were destroying crops. As you would expect that has a pretty significant impact on Australia’s productivity. So, I would say look beyond the headlines of some of these projects. I think some of them will raise questions but others I think might have more value than it first looks like.”