CSIRO vital to national recovery efforts

The union representing CSIRO and Department of Environment workers says the Morrison Government’s Average Staffing Level cap (ASL cap) undermines today’s $50 million announcement for ecological recovery as part of the emergency fire response.

Since coming to office, the Liberal Government has cut 333 jobs from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Funding for the CSIRO has also failed to keep up; the agency has seen a $12.7 million shortfall under the Morrison Government.

The Threatened Species Commissioner is set to work with the CSIRO to assess the impact on fauna and flora from the devastation of the national fire crisis. This will involve crucial mapping of fire zone damage and assessing the impact on wildlife and the environment - work that only our skilled public service can do.

Part of the Morrison Government’s response to this national fire emergency must be future proofing. To do that, Scott Morrison must invest in the CSIRO. Today’s announcement is just a drop in the bucket of what is needed to truly act on this disaster and future proof our environment. The Government must remove the ASL Cap to allow the CSIRO to respond to the needs of the nation.

Quotes attributable to Alistair Waters, National President CPSU:

“This ecological disaster has already seen unprecedented damage to our environment. Lives have been lost, homes are burning, and animals and their habitats have been decimated. It is time for Scott Morrison to invest in our national agencies that can future proof against disasters like this.”

“The ASL cap prevents the CSIRO from hiring more scientists and instead forces the agency to spend more taxpayer money on expensive labour hire companies and contractors to do work that should be done by government agencies and our highly skilled public servants.”

“The CPSU calls on the Morrison Government to invest in the CSIRO by lifting the Average Staffing Level cap (ASL cap). This will allow the CSIRO to build capacity and work with other departments as Australia faces the real and imminent threat of climate change.”