Labor will fight Abbott Government’s war on science

Joint release with Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten

Labor will fight the Abbott Government’s extraordinary war on science as CSIRO workers today hold a national day of protest against the Abbott Government’s savage budget cuts to science.

We say to Australia’s dedicated scientists and researchers – you are not alone, Labor is with you in this fight.

What the Abbott Government is doing to science goes beyond neglect. It goes beyond this government having dispensed with a Science Minister.

It reveals a government that doesn’t respect science and innovation, and doesn’t respect these experts.

The scale of the funding cuts to CSIRO and other science agencies, the potential trebling of the cost of a science degree, and the attitudes that drive this government amount to an extraordinary attack on science.

The Abbott Government has cut $878 million from science and research agencies, including almost $115 million from CSIRO.

Nearly 900 scientists will lose their jobs – at least 500 jobs will go at CSIRO, 96 at Geoscience Australia, 64 at the ANSTO and 58 at the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Government says it wants to find a cure for cancer. How does it propose to do that – or to deal with any of the other great challenges that confront us, whether in health, agriculture or energy – by sacking scientists?

This government treats scientists as rent seekers, living off the taxpayer - They do not understand that Australia’s intellectual capital is as important as its resource base.

Science is central to the current and future prosperity of our nation, to our intellectual vigour and rigour, and to our understanding of the world we live in.

Tony Abbott’s attack on science funding shows yet again that he doesn’t accept the science of climate change.

The Prime Minister infamously declared that climate change was ‘absolute crap’, and it’s clear he hasn’t changed his view.

Tony Abbott has no credible plan to tackle pollution, and he is leaving Australia behind in the race to create the jobs of the future.

Labor values the work of the CSIRO and Australia’s researchers and we’ll keep fighting for them.


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