Staff and supporters of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will join community members in Melbourne this Saturday to protest plans to cut hundreds of jobs from the Australian science icon; including world-leading climate research.
The rally, which has been organised by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), CSIRO Staff Association and Australian Youth Climate Coalition will take place outside the State Library of Victoria at 12pm, Saturday 2 April.
Speakers will include:
The demonstration follows rallies in Hobart and Canberra that drew hundreds of participants and international condemnation of the cuts including criticism from the New York Times, Former Vice President Al Gore and international diplomat Mary Robinson.
Momentum against the planned cuts continues to grow, said CPSU Assistant National Secretary Michael Tull.
“With the dramatic rise in global temperatures – including the hottest year (2015) on record – we need the knowledge and expertise of Australian climate scientists now more than ever.
“If these cuts to CSIRO are enacted, climate research in the Southern Hemisphere will be severely damaged just when the world needs it the most. The heat is now on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to step in and repair funding to CSIRO,” Mr Tull said.
The 350 job cuts proposed by CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall had the potential to hit Victorian based research particularly hard, warned Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski.
“Climate science – particularly research based at the Aspendale Laboratory – is under threat. However Dr Marshall has also indicated he plans to cut jobs from Land and Water, Minerals and Energy and Digital Productivity which may impact on Victorian jobs.
“Planned cuts to CSIRO Manufacturing may result in significant job losses from Melbourne’s Clayton Laboratories,” Mr Popovski said.
Mr Tull called on the Turnbull Government to act immediately and use May’s federal budget to secure the future of CSIRO: “Australians are deeply concerned at cuts to science and research. If Mr Turnbull won’t fix CSIRO funding in the budget, he should expect the public to seek a solution to the problem on polling day.”