14 August 2014
The truth about CSIRO job cuts
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, outlined the truth about Tasmanian CSIRO job cuts, including how responsibility is shared by the Liberal and Labor parties, and even the Greens.
“The story in today’s Mercury detailing how CSIRO job cuts nationally are disproportionately affecting Tasmania is accurate and alarming. But for Labor Senator Lisa Singh to suggest this is entirely the Abbott Government’s fault is misleading and rank hypocrisy in the extreme,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Yes, CSIRO numbers are set to reduce from 260 to an estimated 201 by the end of this financial year. But the reduction of 59 positions is in addition to a net reduction of 139 positions since mid-2012, virtually all of which were the work of the previous Federal Labor Government. In other words the majority of local CSIRO job cuts over the three-year downsizing are Labor’s dirty work.
“Moreover this latest round of cuts, flowing from the Abbott Government cutting more than $110m from CSIRO’s budget, was contained in the Appropriation Bills supported by Labor and the Greens in both the House of Representatives and the Senate just three months ago. In fact only Clive Palmer joined me in voting against those Bills in June and no one of any party voted against them in the Senate.
“The bottom line is that the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties are all just as bad as each other when it comes to failing to defend Hobart as a science and research centre of excellence, and the CSIRO organisation specifically. Frankly I’m sick and tired of the political parties sledging off each other instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.
“For my part I will continue to do what I can to defend the scientists and CSIRO, am proud that I voted against the Appropriation Bills and am lobbying the CSIRO board to back off their concerted campaign against Hobart and Tasmania.”
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