CSIRO CEO’s climate science cuts cast doubt on its future

The Australian Greens today said the CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall’s decision to cut hundreds of jobs in climate science within the organisation puts the future of the CSIRO as a respected national institution in doubt and criticised his public comments on his decision. The Greens called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene and reverse Dr Marshall’s retrograde decision, and for Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman to stand up for the Tasmanian climate scientists affected by these cuts.

“The future of the CSIRO as a respected national institution is now in doubt,” Greens Science & Research spokesperson Adam Bandt said.

"CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall has said that the international criticism of his decision to cut climate research is ‘more like religion than science’, but he’s treating the CSIRO more like a Silicon Valley start-up than a national icon.”

“The idea that because we've determined climate change is happening we don’t need to research it anymore is a furphy. You don’t close down seismology centres because we know that earth movements trigger volcanic eruptions, we monitor them so we know when the next is going to happen.”

“If we want to know how climate change will hit Australian agriculture, what it means for the bushfire season or how the rest of the world is going to be hit, we need to understand how the climate is being changed. That means keeping the world-leading research that we do at the CSIRO.”

“The CSIRO holds a very important place in the hearts of the Australian community and will play an important role in our part as an innovative nation of the 21st Century. You don’t make Australia more innovative by cutting jobs at the CSIRO.”

“This is a test for Malcolm Turnbull. Will Malcolm Turnbull now step in and reverse these cuts, or will he let them go ahead and once again prove that he is all talk but no action?”

Greens Tasmanian Senator and Antarctic spokesperson Peter Whish-Wilson said: “CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall is fast becoming the man who is taking the ‘S’ out of the CSIRO.”

“He’s taking jobs, people, community and money out of my home state of Tasmania when we can least afford it.”

“Our climate scientists are the backbone of our scientific community in Hobart who do incredibly important work in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic.”

“Science is absolutely critical for the future of Tasmania and it’s time for Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman to get off his backside, show some leadership and stand up for our Tasmanian scientists.”

Media contacts:

Adam Bandt - Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054
Peter Whish-Wilson - Tim Beshara, 0409 164 603