In extraordinary scenes in the House today the Abbott Government was forced to vote down its own amendment to its Medical Research Future Fund Bill after the clerks ruled the change unconstitutional.
The Abbott Government has had 18 months to get this right and today’s debacle is
another sign of the Abbott Government’s incompetence and complete inability to run anything even approaching a ‘good government’.
Today’s embarrassing scenes are the culmination of a series of events which highlights how shoddy and sloppy the MRFF legislation has been.
The Government was forced to move 22 amendments to its own bill before it was even voted on in the House, acknowledging the legislation’s complete lack of governance and transparency.
It was then forced to move a further 20 new amendments in the Senate but as today has confirmed, even then it was still unable to get the legislation right, and has now had to move a further amendment in the House and return the Bill to the Senate for a second time.
The original MRFF Bills opened the way for this so called signature policy to pay for coalition election projects, with no independent, peer reviewed oversight of its distributions.
The government is still promising that much of the funding for the MRFF will come from unfair cuts which have no hope of being supported by the parliament including the $5 hike in the cost of prescriptions, and changes to the PBS and Medicare safety nets.
Labor is the strongest supporter of health and medical research in this parliament and will continue to work towards ensuring better governance arrangements are implemented so taxpayers can be truly confident that the highest quality health and medical research is funded.