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Friends of CSIRO Hobart chapter launch shines light on Liberal's mess



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SENATOR LISA SINGH

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

FRIENDS OF CSIRO HOBART CHAPTER LAUNCH SHINES LIGHT ON LIBERAL’S MESS

Senator Lisa Singh today addressed staff at the launch of Friends of CSIRO Hobart.

Labor has been calling on the Liberals to halt the latest CSIRO job cuts since March, but Malcolm Turnbull and Christopher Pyne have done nothing to stop the potential destruction of CSIRO’s unique climate and environmental science capabilities.

A recent Senate inquiry examining the CSIRO cuts was told of the devastating effect on Australia’s global reputation as a leader in climate science stemming from this decision and the loss to Tasmanian’s economy. Senator Singh was deputy chair of the inquiry.

Tasmanian scientists deserve better than the Turnbull Government’s cheap and cynical politics.

The recent announcement of a National Climate Research Centre in Hobart is just a hollow smokescreen to get the Government through an election.

It fails to guarantee that vital climate change monitoring and measurement will continue; it provides no certainty for current Tasmanian CSIRO scientists whose jobs are on the line; and it pales into insignificance amid confirmation that 275 CSIRO jobs will disappear over two years, including 75 climate scientists.

This political patch-up is all the Liberals have been able to offer, proving that Malcolm Turnbull’s incessant talk of innovation and science is nothing more than rhetoric.

CSIRO management’s decision to sack global climate expert Dr John Church while he was at sea shows complete contempt. This is a shocking way to treat someone of such high standing in research on sea level rise.

This decision has embarrassed Australia at an international level. Dr Church is regarded as one of the world’s top 10 climate scientists.

The botched process that has destroyed morale within CSIRO must be addressed. That’s why Labor has announced it will commission an independent review of CSIRO’s corporate structure, management and functions.

For months, the Turnbull Government has washed its hands of the issue, insisting the cuts were an operational matter for CSIRO management. This destructive mess must end.

Malcolm Turnbull and Christopher Pyne must direct the CSIRO to stop these hasty and ill-considered cuts that will cripple Tasmania and Australia’s climate science capacity and reputation.

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.

Only Labor can be trusted to support public good research in the national interest.

TUESDAY 24 MAY 2016