The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is set to axe 420 jobs and reduce investment in several science areas as a direct consequence of losing $115 million in budget funding over four years.
According to the article on The Guardian, CSIRO will be looking to reduce investment in the fields of radio astronomy science, liquid fuel products, carbon capture and storage, local energy systems and geothermal, as well as in sensor development research.
CSIRO’s Chief Executive Megan Clark told staff in an email on Wednesday that the organisation would be forced to reduce the number of staff by 420 full-time equivalent positions by June 2015, which, along with the 300 workers that are leaving at the end of next month, will bring the total number of lay-offs to around 720.
“This will be painful for our team and our people who have dedicated themselves to the future of Australia and their families,” she said.
Ms Clark further added that she would release the organisation’s annual direction statement this week to all staff, which would contain more detailed information.
“It will take our business leaders time to connect with our stakeholders to understand the full impacts of the budget for them and what that may mean for their future collaborations with CSIRO.”
The CSIRO Staff Association said the latest funding cuts were both “short-sighted and destructive.”
“They will do lasting harm to CSIRO and the capacity to deliver new inventions and crucial research for the next generation of Australians,” said the Association’s Acting Secretary Michael Borgas.
“These budget cuts will mean more science workers will lose their jobs and more important research will not be done. CSIRO management might be faced with terrible prospect of getting out of some areas of research altogether.”
On a brighter note, the CSIRO will receive about $66 million extra over the next four years to operate the new marine research vessel, the RV Investigator, as well as a one-off funding of $32.2 million in 2013–14 to manage staff reductions.