The Community and Public Sector Union has today called on the Albanese Labor Government to urgently step in and secure the future of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) after it was revealed that the agency is facing a significant funding shortfall that could result in up to a third of its workforce being cut, including many staff in regional Queensland.

The union, which represents the workers at AIMS, has been calling for additional resourcing for years after the former Coalition Government refused to adequately resource AIMS.

Images surfaced last week revealing the level of neglect and showing the unsafe and not fit-for-purpose facilities and conditions marine scientists have been contending with.

The union has also revealed that the attraction and retention crisis that is plaguing the APS is impacting AIMS, with the agency struggling to recruit the scientists and engineers they need.

Quotes attributable to Beth Vincent-Pietsch, CPSU Deputy Secretary:

“For years, the CPSU has been calling for AIMS to receive necessary funding and resources to continue its vital work, which supports our Great Barrier Reef and oceans.

“The current situation, where our marine scientists are contending with unsafe working environments, including run-down, mouldy facilities and boats that aren’t up to the job, is unacceptable.

“Not only are they working in unsafe and unacceptable conditions, but now their jobs are on the line – they deserve better than this.

“The former government’s failure to adequately fund AIMS has allowed their facilities to fall into an unacceptable state and put the important work of these world-leading marine scientists at risk.

“AIMS is also juggling recruitment issues as the use of insecure labour hire contracts, uncompetitive wages, and poor conditions have left them unable to attract the scientists and engineers they need.

“It is essential that the Australian Government urgently funds AIMS to save critical jobs and support the agency’s work. AIMS is a source of national pride, and the Australian public expects it to continue delivering world-leading marine science research.

“The CPSU is calling on the Albanese Labor Government to urgently invest in AIMS to save jobs, improve workers conditions and allow them to continue their vital work in protecting the Great Barrier Reef and our oceans.

Media contact: Tori McGregor 0429 000 620