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More CSIRO jobs on the chopping block

February 8, 2016 • News

Researchers at CSIRO have been informed that they might lose their jobs as a result of a two year organisational restructure that is set to hit hardest in climate science areas of the research organisation.

Image credit: CSIRO

Image credit: CSIRO

Numerous sources report that Chief Executive Larry Marshall informed the staff that jobs in Data61, Oceans & Atmosphere, Land & Water and Manufacturing divisions would be cut at a rate of 175 per year.

Most of the staff will be redeployed to digital technology and big data, but job cuts are inevitable.

“We have planned new investment in digital technology and big data, largely through our newest business unit – Data 61. We’ll also use big data to find the next generation of resources, and will work with industry and universities to get more from ore. Precision agriculture is an area where we can get huge productivity gains and our health services are also ripe for this type of disruption so we will be accelerating our work in both these spaces,” Mr Marshall said in a statement.

“We will grow our capability to prepare for and respond to the extreme weather events we are expecting in future. We will also increase our ability to understand the impacts of Blue Economy developments such as new fisheries and resource projects to minimise any adverse impacts and provide communities with trusted information about those projects.”

Dr Larry Marshall was named new Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in January 2015.

Queensland Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, the Honourable Leeanne Enoch, said that if Australia wants to become one of the world’s leading innovators, it must have “scientists, entrepreneurs and start-ups working collaboratively to deliver tangible outcomes.”

“But the Federal Government is sending the wrong message internationally that Australia is not a country that values scientific excellence,” she said.

The Minister added that she intends to write to Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne in order to seek clarification on what impact these announced changes will have on existing partnerships between Queensland and the CSIRO.

“Queensland partners with the CSIRO extensively on issues of climate change and particularly its effects on the Great Barrier Reef. CSIRO scientists play important roles on the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce – a body set up to save the reef – and other advisory bodies which provide key modelling and advice on the health of the reef,“ Ms Enoch said.

“Given the withdrawal of the CSIRO from climate science, what does this signal about the Federal Government’s commitment to securing the future of the Reef?  As a state, these are the types of questions we need answers to. I will be urging Mr Pyne to guarantee these programs remain in place as the health of the Great Barrier Reef is far too important.”

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