Reports that Malcolm Turnbull has signed off on hundreds of CSIRO job losses, and has all but ended climate research at the CSIRO, underscore just how little has changed since Malcolm Turnbull took over from Tony Abbott.
Malcolm Turnbull is happy to use the CSIRO for a photo-op but his cuts are vandalising a great Australian institution.
The Turnbull Liberal Government is cutting 110 jobs in CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere division, along with jobs in the Manufacturing division, Land and Water division and the newly created Data61.
The Turnbull Liberal Government slashed CSIRO’s budget by $115 million, resulting in the loss of one in five jobs – the biggest job losses in the organisation’s history.
This is not agile or innovative from Malcolm Turnbull, this is a disgrace and he should hang his head in shame.
The only people cheering this decision from Malcolm Turnbull will be the far-right of the Liberal Party who are calling the shots.
According to Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, these new job cuts will result in a “catastrophic reduction in our capacity to assess present and future climate change”.
They will also have a devastating impact on CSIRO’s capacity to conduct research into carbon capture and storage and energy efficiency, and to prepare Australia for the jobs of the future.
Today’s job losses are just another example of Malcolm Turnbull saying one thing and doing another.
Malcolm Turnbull has talked a lot about his commitment to action on climate change but the reality is Tony Abbott’s anti-climate science agenda is continuing under the Turnbull Liberal Government.
Almost 1400 CSIRO employees have been shown the door since the Liberals came to government.
Our thoughts are with CSIRO staff and their families at this difficult time.
Our thoughts are also with Australian scientists who believed that Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation rhetoric might actually mean science being taken seriously.
Instead, yet again, the Liberals are fuelling a brain drain from Australian science and undermining manufacturing innovation.
Today’s news highlights the need for the Turnbull Liberals to review all their cuts to science, research and innovation, including:
o $107 million from the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program
o $75 million from the ARC
o $27.5 million from ANSTO
o $7.8 million from AIMS
o $16.1 million from Geoscience Australia
o $20 million from the Bureau of Meteorology
o $120 million from DSTO
o $174 million from the Research Training Scheme
Since the 2013 election, the Liberals have slashed support for science, research and innovation by more than $3 billion.
It is crucial that Australia understands the impact of climate change on our economy, environment and society; that we move to cleaner, more efficient energy sources to reduce emissions; and that we invest in manufacturing and ICT innovation to support the jobs of the future.
The work of the CSIRO is integral to achieving these goals, yet the Liberals continue to white-ant this vital national science organisation at every turn.
Under the Liberals Australia’s pollution levels are going up, and Malcolm Turnbull’s answer is to sack the experts who are working to cut pollution and find the innovations in renewable energy that will help create the jobs of the future in Australia.