Restore funding and jobs to gutted Antarctic Division

The Community and Public Sector Union today welcomes the Senate Inquiry in to Australia’s Antarctic Territory to Hobart and calls on the Turnbull government to commit to restoring and increasing funding and jobs to Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). This would enable the Division to further develop and maintain a comprehensive scientific program in the Antarctic now and in to the future. To continue this important work, the CPSU calls on all parties to prioritise properly funding AAD.

CPSU Tasmanian Regional Secretary Madeline Northam said: “The work that CPSU members do in AAD is critical to maintaining national interests in the Antarctic and in ensuring that Hobart remains an international centre of excellence for Antarctic science and policy. It is shocking that between 2013 and 2015 the Abbott/Turnbull government cut 44 jobs from the AAD, 20 of which came from the Science branch.”

“CPSU members in AAD are telling us that job cuts have meant that those staff that are left are stretched and exhausted. If this government is serious about Australia’s presence in the Antarctic then it will restore and increase funding immediately and remove the arbitrary Average Staffing Level cap so that critical public service jobs can be restored, including those 44 lost in recent years. This is in line with what the Australian public expects of government.”

“Without additional funding, the AAD will be forced to scale back even further its activities and Australia’s responsibilities in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans. This in turn will affect Australia and Hobart’s international reputation and will have a flow on effect to the local community.”

Ms Northam will be on Parliament House lawns at 12pm today.