Labor welcomes new CSIRO chief

Labor congratulates Dr Larry Marshall on his appointment today as the new Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said that Dr Marshall’s experience as a physicist and engineer, and as entrepreneur who has served on the boards of more than 20 high-tech companies in Australia, the US and China, made him well suited to lead Australia’s premier research agency.

“At a time when the Abbott Government has drastically cut support for science and research, it is crucial that this great national institution is able to maintain its research capabilities and its distinguished record in fostering innovation,” Mr Shorten said.

“The many triumphs in that record are well-known, including CSIRO’s discovery of the technology that makes WiFi possible and, most recently, the nomination of CSIRO scientists Dr Graeme Moad, Dr Ezzio Rizzardo and Dr San Thang for the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

“We must preserve and build on this legacy of success, which has drawn so many scientists of international standing to work with CSIRO.

“With no science minister and no one in Cabinet to stand up for science, Australians have every right to be concerned that this Government simply doesn't take science seriously.”

The Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader for Science, Senator Kim Carr, said that the Government had cut CSIRO’s funding by $115 million, leading to the loss of nearly 1000 jobs – the biggest job losses in the organisation’s history.

“Wise leadership is more important than ever for CSIRO,” Senator Carr said.

“The Opposition will do everything possible to support Dr Marshall in his new role.”

Mr Shorten and Senator Carr both paid tribute to CSIRO’s outgoing Chief Executive, Dr Megan Clark.

“Dr Clark has stood firm as a defender of CSIRO and continued to inspire staff at time when science has too often come under attack from people who should know better,” Mr Shorten said.


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