Download Silencing Dissent: How the Australian government is by Clive Hamilton PDF

By Clive Hamilton

A daunting research of the strategies utilized by the Howard govt to silence self reliant specialists and commentators in addition to public servants and corporations which criticise its guidelines.

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The academic freedom of these centres is clearly vital to the work they undertake. The government has a legitimate interest in ensuring that they operate efficiently, that the projects they pursue are relevant and that their findings are robust, but if such research is to have value then it needs to be conducted without interference. The appropriate arrangement is a funding agreement that specifies the functions of the centre, its structure and operating details, and typically provides for an external review of performance; beyond that the centre should be free to conduct and publish its research.

The academic freedom of these centres is clearly vital to the work they undertake. The government has a legitimate interest in ensuring that they operate efficiently, that the projects they pursue are relevant and that their findings are robust, but if such research is to have value then it needs to be conducted without interference. The appropriate arrangement is a funding agreement that specifies the functions of the centre, its structure and operating details, and typically provides for an external review of performance; beyond that the centre should be free to conduct and publish its research.

The minister rejected that recommendation, opting instead for a competitive tender. The amount the SPRC won was little more than a third of the earlier grant, and its new contract required prior government approval for every project the centre undertook with the reduced funding. 24 Another centre, the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at the Australian National University, incurred even greater displeasure when it challenged the outcomes of the government’s policy of ‘practical reconciliation’.

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