Scientists lose jobs at CSIRO’s Aspendale labs

Staff at CSIRO’s Marine and Atmospheric Research laboratories at Aspendale have been told eight marine and atmospheric research positions are to go, and the facility will be closed at an unspecified date.

Shadow Minister for Research Senator Kim Carr and Member for Isaacs Mark Dreyfus QC today visited the Aspendale laboratories to tour the facility and meet with staff.

Senator Carr said the Abbott Government’s $111.4 million funding cut meant CSIRO was having to slash staff and programs, including those working on climate and atmospheric research at Aspendale.

”The scientists here undertake world-class work in marine and atmospheric sciences, and it’s a tragedy that some are losing their jobs and their research is to be halted,” Senator Carr said. 

“CSIRO is our premier scientific research organisation, with an international reputation, but it is in the process of being gutted by a government which has no science minister, no science policy and no understanding of the benefits of scientific research.

“It’s also clear the Abbott Government has climate change science in its sights and this is just another example of how out of touch it is with the rest of the world.”

Mr Dreyfus said, “As was pointed out by an Australian engineering student now doing post-graduate studies overseas, the Abbott Government’s budget is not only heartless – it is also brainless.

“For decades this facility has provided a source of ongoing employment in my electorate, while contributing nationally and globally through its ground-breaking scientific research.

“Things are getting harder and harder for people in our local community under the Abbott Government’s budget of lies and broken promises.” 

Aspendale, a stronghold of CSIRO’s marine and atmospheric research, is one of eight CSIRO sites to be closed as part of a strategy to reduce building maintenance costs.

CSIRO chief executive Dr Megan Clarke told Senate estimates last week that staff from Aspendale might relocate to Clayton.

“We have been looking at both the strategic opportunities and the funding opportunities to consolidate that [site] to Clayton. We have not made that move or clarified that timetable but we have for a long time signalled our intent to consolidate our footprint in Victoria, in Clayton,” Dr Clark said.

FRIDAY, 13 JUNE 2104


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