Today’s announcement of a National Climate Research Centre in Hobart is nothing more than a political fix from Christopher Pyne and Greg Hunt.
The Government has cut 75 climate change scientists from the CSIRO and has now announced it is replacing these cuts with 40 staff at the Centre.
This is in addition to the Government continuing with its devastating job losses in the Land & Water division and the Manufacturing division.
This announcement is a marginal seats strategy, not a science strategy.
It's a rushed fix to a problem that only exists as a result of the government's anti-climate science and anti-public good research agenda.
Having pushed for a brokered political fix, Christopher Pyne and Greg Hunt cannot continue to hide behind the independence claim.
This announcement shows they were happy to intervene to facilitate climate science job cuts, but not to save the jobs or CSIRO's international reputation.
Christopher Pyne has the authority to act. He can direct the Board to simply put these rushed changes on hold and actually consult with staff and research partners properly.
But he’s done nothing. This new smokescreen fails to address the fundamental problem, which is that CSIRO’s management has made an ill-considered decision to halve the organisation’s unique and world-renowned climate science capability, and instead turn the organisation into a glorified consultancy.
Labor believes Australia must maintain its unique contribution to climate science and that CSIRO’s public good research is as important as its work with industry.
We continue to call on Christopher Pyne to intervene to stop CSIRO making hasty and ill-considered cuts that will have serious long-term consequences for Australia’s climate science capability and our reputation as a trusted science partner.
A Shorten Labor Government will have different priorities, and we will commission an independent review of CSIRO’s corporate structure, management and functions.
Only Labor can be trusted to support public good research in the national interest.