NTEU sets out concerns on the proposed Defence Trade Controls Bill
After discussing the NTEU's concerns about the Defence Trade Controls Bill on Radio 6PR Perth yesterday, NTEU President Jeannie Rea has today sent the Defence Minister, the Hon Stephen Smith a letter tabling the NTEU's concerns. A copy of that letter is attached below.
Of great relevance to members, another article on this matter has appeared in The Conversation by Dr Michael J. Biercuk today.
Notably, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade provided its final report on the Bill last week. It was acknowledged by the Committee that engagement with the sector has not been robust and there remains significant concerns about the implications for freedom of intellectual inquiry at Australian universities.
The NTEU believes that the implications of the Bill for Australian academics is potentially severe. The Bill proposes criminal provisions for academics who transfer or publish research that falls under a Department of Defence restricted technologies list (DSGL). As stated by Rea on the 11 October last week, 'Unfortunately the current bill would subject Australian researchers to levels of control and bureaucratic surveillance that work against the pursuit of knowledge and development of breakthrough research and innovation'.
The NTEU would strongly encourage members concerned about this Bill to contact their local Commonwealth members of parliament as soon as possible to outline their concerns. It is anticipated that the Bill maybe debated in the Senate before the start of November. Its progress can be tracked through the following link.