CSIRO to shed 500 jobs across Australia

05-06-2014

A number of regional CSIRO research sites have been earmarked for closure as a result of Budget cuts.

The government has announced plans to slash $111 million in federal funding to Australia's national science and research agency.

Sites to be cut are believed to include the irrigation research laboratory at Griffith and the Mopra telescope near Coonabarabran in NSW, reports ABC Rural.

Five hundred jobs across the country are expected to be axed over the next four years as part of the cuts.

CSIRO Staff Association president Michael Borgas says the closure of the Griffith site in the Riverina was unexpected.

"We're really working hard to try and support the staff there, Mr Borgas told the ABC.

"We have a really strong view on the need to maintain regional labs, to maintain connection with the broadest cross-section of the Australian community.

"So the closure of the Griffith lab is particularly disappointing."

Research areas facing the chopping block including liquid fuels, geothermal energy and marine biodiversity.

Mr Borgas, a climate scientist based at the Aspendale Laboratories in Victoria, says plans to relocate the hub for marine and atmospheric research to Clayton are also back on the agenda.

He says the funding cuts will make it difficult for CSIRO to maintain its status as Australia's premier scientific body.

"Particularly in the manufacturing sector, the complete collapse of supports for industry development and taking on a modernisation of the country is really compromised severely.

"We will not be able to compete with very many countries, even in our region, let alone the whole world.

"The reduction in scientific capacity is at odds with what almost every other developed nation in the world is trying to do."

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