Tasmanians rally to save CSIRO from climate cuts

Supporters of the CSIRO will rally in Hobart today to continue pressuring the Federal Government to abandon its short-sighted attack on the organisation’s critical climate research capability.

The rally, which has been organised by the Community and Public Sector Union (which includes the CSIRO Staff Association), will begin on the lawns of Parliament House in Hobart at 12:30pm (AEDT).

Climate scientist Nerilie Abram, from the Australian National University, will address the gathering along with marine science PhD candidate Pearse Buchanan, Tasmanian Labor Senator Carol Brown and Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

In February undermining of the CSIRO by the Turnbull Government prompted chief executive Larry Marshall to announce the mass axing of 350 scientists, with climate science the hardest hit research area.

CPSU Tasmanian Regional Secretary Jessica Munday said: “These cuts to climate science have prompted global condemnation, sending Larry Marshall and the Turnbull Government a very clear message that they must be reversed immediately, and we’re planning to maintain that pressure with today’s rally in Hobart.”

“This attack on the CSIRO will have a devastating impact on critical climate research, with Tasmania’s science community likely to be hit hard by these cuts. That’s why around 3,000 scientists from around the world have signed a petition supporting CSIRO staff, and concern about the loss of climate science expertise has even made it to the front page of the New York Times.”

“2015 was the hottest year on record and Australian people and businesses are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, yet these most recent cuts have just added to the damage already done as one in five CSIRO jobs have been cut in recent years and important research has been halted in other areas including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, bowel cancer, geothermal energy and liquid fuels.”

“Government cuts to the CSIRO have already done untold damage, with critical research halted into Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, bowel cancer, geothermal energy and liquid fuels. This latest body blow to climate science shows the Government and CSIRO management have their priorities fundamentally wrong.”

“It’s time for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Larry Marshall to realise they’ve made a mistake and reverse these cuts before the damage done to Australia’s climate science capability and global reputation becomes irreversible.”