Thursday, 4 February 2016
Questions without Notice
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Thank you, Senator Waters, for raising the issue, although many of the matters about which you inquire have already been addressed by my colleague Senator Sinodinos. At the risk of repeating some of the things that Senator Sinodinos had to say in response to an earlier question, I will point out to you that these are operational decisions for the CSIRO. There was extensive review of the management of the CSIRO which concluded that there was a need to reorganise the organisation better to fulfil its mission outlined in its strategic plan.
Senator Waters, you say that there will be job losses. But I am afraid, Senator Waters, you are incorrect, because I can tell you that, as Senator Sinodinos advised the chamber in response to Senator Singh, the realignment, which will take roughly two years, will result in no net job losses. There will be no net job losses across the agency and any such suggestion otherwise is incorrect. So, Senator Waters, please do not mislead the chamber. You have had the assurance from Senator Sinodinos, and now you have had the assurance from me, that there will be no net job losses as a result of this process.
CSIRO has announced that there will be a realignment of activities within their climate change division. Stories reported in the media today, particularly in the Fairfax media, are factually wrong. The CSIRO will continue its relationship with the Department of the Environment on the National Environmental Science Program. It will be spending $83 million per annum on climate change research, and the oceans and atmosphere division of the CSIRO will continue to employ more than 300 people.