An attack on Australia’s literary culture

Senior Lecturer Julieanne Lamond highlights how ministerial interference of funding applications points to wilful ignorance of the value of literature.

On Christmas Eve, many researchers across the country received the news that their Australian Research Council (ARC) funding applications had failed. For most of them, this was disappointing but not surprising: the success rate for the scheme is 19%.

Six research teams were informed they had been recommended for funding within this competitive pool, but the acting Education Minister Stuart Robert had vetoed their applications. The rationale provided was that the vetoed projects ‘do not demonstrate value for taxpayers’ money nor contribute to the national interest’.

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