AAMRI Submission: Investment Funds Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

AAMRI Submission: Investment Funds Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

22nd September, 2021

The Government has introduced a Bill to Parliament to amend various parts of the Medical Research Future Fund Act (2015). The Bill seeks to make changes to how available funds for medical research are determined, makes clear that funds can be allocated to state and territory entities, and also adjusts the length of the Australian Health and Innovation Strategy and Priorities.

The Bill has been referred to Senate Committee for inquiry, and AAMRI has responded with a submission (available below).

Summary of submission

  1. AAMRI supports the Government’s intention to change the MRFF’s investment mandate to seek greater returns and therefore make additional funding available for medical research.
  2. The maximum available funds for medical research, as specified in the Bill, should be subject to indexation.
  3. A minimum amount of available funding should be specified, and this should be at least $650 million per annum to ensure existing commitments in the forward estimates are met. This amount should be subject to indexation.
  4. The requirement to protect the MRFF’s initial $20 billion endowment should be kept, and the Bill amended to remove the changes that see this requirement dropped.
  5. Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that funding provided to state and territory governments through the MRFF are directed to specific medical research projects and not used for other purposes.
  6. The proposed changes to the length of the Strategy and Priorities, to 6-years and 3-years respectively, should be supported.