Page 6126 - Week 14 - Thursday, 9 December 2010

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

The report considers practical issues about the incorporation of economic, social and cultural rights into our Human Rights Act alongside the established framework for civil and political rights. One of the challenging things about these rights is that, despite the presence of international covenants, different jurisdictions have chosen to adopt and adapt them in subtle but significantly differing ways. In relation to each of the rights explored in the report, the project team has thoughtfully and thoroughly examined the way in which up to 27 different models have been developed in instruments around the world, including United Nations, European and African charters and in some cases domestic models in such countries as Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Spain and Japan, in addition to the countries I have already mentioned.

After their comprehensive analysis, the project team worked with our own parliamentary counsel’s office to propose a description of relevant rights that could potentially be made to fit with our own domestic model. The government sought legal advice on whether there would be any constitutional issues arising from adoption of such rights here, especially in connection with the exercise of judicial power. The advice clearly indicates that there would be further issues to consider, if and when a decision is made to adopt such rights and depending on the precise formulation that might be adopted for them, but concludes that an economic, social and cultural rights framework could be applied consistently with our Westminster tradition of government in the territory.

Because I believe it will enhance the debate on this topic, I have agreed to this advice being released with the report, noting that this in no way constitutes government endorsement of any particular formulation for the rights or the specific recommendations in the report at this time.

The question of whether to incorporate economic, social and cultural rights into ACT law is a complex one that raises many issues for all parts of our community, not just government. These questions will need to be considered in detail by the government, in consultation with the community.

The objectives of the Australian Research Council’s linkage grant program include: to encourage excellent collaborative research within universities and across the innovation system, to contribute to a strong knowledge economy and to create opportunities for cooperation with related programs across portfolios. The linkage project scheme supports collaborative research and development projects between higher educational organisations and other organisations, including within government and industry, to enable the application of advanced knowledge to problems. Typically, research projects funded under this scheme involve risk.

The proposals for funding under linkage projects must involve a collaborating organisation from outside the higher education sector. The collaborating organisation must make a significant contribution equal to or greater than the ARC funding, in cash and/or in kind, to the project.

With that in mind, I believe members of this place and the broader Canberra community—indeed, I venture to suggest the broader Australian community—could take pride in the fact that the ARC recognised the merit of the proposal by the ANU

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video