SELF-INFLICTED BRAIN DRAIN CONTINUES 12 MONTHS ON

The Australian science and research community has still not recovered 12 months on from the assault that the Turnbull Liberals waged on the CSIRO.

Despite the Government’s rhetoric about the age of innovation and agility, the CSIRO has been subjected to unnecessary upheaval and anxiety with the unexpected announcement that divisions would be reduced and whole areas of research ceasing.

As if Tony Abbott’s $115 million funding cuts had not been enough, Malcolm Turnbull decided to make his own mark by signing off on hundreds of CSIRO job losses, critically endangering vital climate research at the CSIRO.

Mr Turnbull’s actions have done significant damage to Australia’s international reputation, with even the New York Times questioning his Government’s cuts to global action on climate change.

The agency remains in crisis, and the crisis is not only about resources.

It is also about the direction followed by management, which has been slavishly adhering to the Government's ideological agenda.

The CSIRO has always been responsive to government policy directions, but never before at the expense of its own mission.

Although climate research was thrown a life line after global protest, other CSIRO staff were not so lucky. Researchers in the Manufacturing division, Land and Water division and the newly created Data61 have all lost their jobs. 

Some staff, seeing the direction that CSIRO management has taken, have chosen to make their contributions to discovery in other countries, where their skills are more highly valued.

The changes at CSIRO have started a brain drain, depriving Australia of critical talent.


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