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Axing of CSIRO's flagship program.

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- MEDIA RELEASE - SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Media enquiries: Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666 1

A0820 28th March 2008

Axing of CSIRO’s Flagships program

“Federal Labor will revitalise our public research, including the CSIRO…with an emphasis on ensuring that public research contributes appropriately to national goals and long-term economic growth” (Senator Kim Carr, Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research, Election 2007

policy, p.9).

“The National Research Flagships Program is delivering scientific solutions to advance Australia’s most pressing national objectives” (

Science Minister Senator Kim Carr must today rule out any cuts to the CSIRO, and in particular its National Research Flagships.

The mooted axing of 1,500 scientists, and a quarter of the CSIRO’s research budget, would represent a gutting of Australia’s most significant and important public research agency.

It also represents yet another broken election promise: Labor went to the election with a policy to “revitalise” Australia’s public research, including the CSIRO - not to gut it.

The fact that the Prime Minister’s razor gang is even considering taking the axe to the CSIRO shows just how little Labor really understands the role of science in improving our nation.

The Flagships program, which is today going under the razor gang’s knife, is currently providing collaborative research into such crucial areas as preventative health, water and food security, the future of energy, and climate adaptation; as well as minerals, light metals, and niche manufacturing.

To axe this program is to axe a large slice of Australia’s innovation future, and would represent an abject failure both of Rudd Labor, and of Senator Carr himself.