We created a petition for a national inquiry into the Australian system of research ethics and governance, to inform the politicians about the problems with the existing system. We analyzed the reasons that signatories offered for why signing the petition was important to them. A total of 409 comments (by 805 signatories) focused on five major themes: (1) views on previous changes to the system of research ethics and governance; (2) drawbacks of the existing system; (3) suggested changes to the system; (4) anticipated impacts of changing the system; and (5) miscellaneous/other comments. Comments ranged from several words to over 400 words in length, and most often focused on the procedural aspects, and commented on theme 2: drawbacks of the existing system.
Keywords: exemption; governance; health research; low-risk research; medical research; proportionate review; research ethics; research ethics committees; site-specific approval.