Mark Butler MP.
Shadow Minister for Environment
Climate Change and Water
The CSIRO has a proud 100-year history of research, inventions, discoveries and innovation.
This organisation has made an invaluable contribution to our nation – a contribution that should be celebrated.
But the Abbott-Turnbull Government has instead chosen to tear it down.
In its 2014 Budget, the Abbott-Turnbull Government slashed the CSIRO’s budget by
$115 million, resulting in the loss of one in five jobs. It was the biggest staff cut in the agency’s history.
Now the CSIRO plans to cut at least another 275 jobs, including the Oceans and Atmosphere, Land and Water, Manufacturing, and Data61 (IT) divisions.
This is a direct consequence of the cuts by the anti-climate science Abbott-Turnbull Government.
After all, why would the Liberals need to invest in climate science when their Party is full of people who don’t believe climate change is even real?
In contrast, Labor believes it is crucial that Australia understands the impact of climate change on our environment, economy and society.
That’s why Labor has publicly committed to using ministerial authority to stop this round of job cuts should we win Government.
Labor has also said that we would commission an independent review of the CSIRO’s structure, management and functions.
It has been almost 30 years since the CSIRO has had such a review, and Labor believes it would help to modernise its management and improve its consultation.
In addition, Labor last week announced that under a Shorten Labor Government, the CSIRO would play a central role in the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef.
We will direct the CSIRO to conduct Reef-specific science, including climate research, supported by a $50 million funding boost.
Labor respects the CSIRO and the science it researches. It is work that is crucial to Australian society.