We note that the timeline for comment on complex legislative amendments has been too short for deep consideration – for both UA and our member universities.
UA consider it imperative that this Bill be subject to an inquiry by the relevant Parliamentary Committee, and pending the outcomes of that inquiry, that the Department of Defence conduct appropriate consultation to inform the drafting subsequent amendments to the Defence Trade Controls Regulation 2013 (the regulations).
We also acknowledge the other critical ongoing work of reviewing the Act, being undertaken by Mr Peter Tesch and Professor Graeme Samuel AC. In our submission to that review (Attachment A), UA noted that Australia needs to leverage its research sector to full effect in order to meet AUKUS challenges. To this end, UA considers that any legislative and/or policy change in this space should be aimed at reducing complexity and enhancing clarity around obligations.
Universities and the Department of Defence learned a great deal from the development of the original iteration of Australia’s defence trade control regime – including the importance genuine engagement to strike the right balance of controls without stifling our ability to collaborate and the critical need for appropriate transition and support arrangements. UA and our members look forward to continued deep engagement to ensure that this balance is maintained.