AusBiotech welcomes new ministers

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AusBiotech has cordially welcomed the appointment of Greg Hunt to the health portfolio and Arthur Sinodinos to industry, innovation and science.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the appointments of Greg Hunt as health minister and Senator Arthur Sinodinos to the industry and innovation portfolios. He also elevated Ken Wyatt to the full ministry, from assistant health minister to minister for aged care and indigenous health.

Senator Sinodinos succeeds Mr Hunt in the industry and innovation portfolio just six months after his appointment. Sinodinos has served as Cabinet Secretary since last year's election.

One of his first challenges will be addressing concerns over proposed changes to the R&D Tax Incentive.

A recent review recommended a number of substantial changes to the popular program, including a proposed $2 million cap on the refundable cash component.

AusBiotech has led the campaign against adoption of the recommendation, arguing it will negatively small-to-medium enterprises and undermine the government's over-arching innovation agenda.

CEO of AusBiotech, Glenn Cross, said: "AusBiotech endorses the choice of these two ministerial appointments. Both these ministers and their portfolios play a pivotal role in sympathetic policy for the life sciences Industry. Their leadership will shape the environment for Australian technology developers to bring new treatments, cures, devices and diagnostics to patients.

"Both these areas are enablers for the conduct, attraction and retention of clinical trials in Australia and a key present issue in this respect is the government's pending response to the R&D Tax Incentive.

"We thank Minister Hunt for his consideration of industry concerns about the proposed $2 million cap thus far and we look forward to working further with Minister Sinodinos."