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Anger over Labour’s decision to call off research funding vote

The Australian government has sparked anger among the Greens by calling off a vote on a motion to protect science and research funding.

The motion, put forward by Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt, calls on the Treasurer to secure ARC and NHMRC funding against further budget cuts.

The government cut AU$499 million from its research spending commitments in October 2012 by delaying increases pledged under its Sustainable Research Excellence initiative.

Parliament voted 74 to 66 in favour, allowing a final vote on Bandt’s motion, which was due on 6 February. Yet it did not appear on the day’s programme.

A spokesman for the government’s leader in the House of Representatives, Anthony Albanese, said the vote had never been listed but the motion would go to a vote sometime this week at the earliest.

Meanwhile Bandt said in a statement on 7 February: “I want to thank the cross-bench and the Coalition for supporting my motion. The government should not be able to avoid a vote on an important issue such as science funding simply by not listing the motion for a vote.”