Mass meetings at CSIRO metro sites a major hit

More than a thousand CSIRO staff at major metropolitan sites across Australia have rallied to protest against Government budget cuts.

Clad in white lab coats and brandishing signs and placards, Staff Association members and supporters held colourful lunchtime major CSIRO worksites in Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.

The successful metro protest meetings followed similar events earlier this week at CSIRO regional sites all over the country including Alice Springs, Armidale, Atherton, Geelong, Griffith, Geraldton, Myall Vale, Narrabri, Newcastle, Townsville and the St Lucia and Dutton Park workplaces in Brisbane.

Big turnout

Canberra’s Black Mountain drew approximately three hundred staff who listened to speakers including former Minister for Science Sentor Kim Carr and CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood.

About three hundred members and supporters across Melbourne descended upon Clayton, led by Staff Association President Dr Michael Borgas.

Sydney put on a great show with 150 union members from all over Sydney speaking out at North Ryde.

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Another 150 – CSIRO staff with some help from the Antarctic Division – made a big statement at Hobart’s Battery Point.

Out West, more than 100 Perth staff rocked CSIRO Waterford with the help of their own blues band.

Pullenvale staff followed in the footsteps of St Lucia and Dutton Park to bring the total for Brisbane close to 100 participants over the week.

Similarly, Adelaide’s CSIRO staff held two events that drew nearly 100 people between Kintore Avenue and Waite Campus.

Political support

Labor lent it’s support by sending a contingent to Black Mountain including Kim Carr, Mark Dreyfus and Dr Andrew Leigh. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten continued the theme in Question Time, reminding MPs of the Government’s cuts to CSIRO.

Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt chimed in, seeking leave to introduce a motion calling on the House of Representatives to support the nation wide protests by CSIRO staff.

Media coverage

  • CSIRO funding cuts driven by ‘pure ignorance’, says staff association – Funding cuts to the CSIRO are driven by “pure ignorance” and will result in significant damage to Australia’s economy, the organisation’s staff body has claimed – The Guardian, weblink.
  • CSIRO scientists protest ‘unprecedented’ job cuts – The protesters dressed in long lab coats. Their signs were scrawled with science puns. And they laughed while gathering for a group photo. “We’re rubbish at this,” one said teasingly – The Age, weblink.
  • Sydney scientists protest CSIRO cuts – Staff gathered at the front of the Commonwealth Science and industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Sydney to protest the recent federal budget cuts –SBS, weblink.
  • CSIRO scientists don lab coats to protest against budget cuts – Hundreds of CSIRO staff have gathered at sites around Australia to protest against budget cuts they say are putting Australian science in danger – Canberra Times, weblink
  • Scientists protest CSIRO cuts – Scientists have rallied at CSIRO sites in Canberra and across the country to protest funding cuts to the organisation – ABC Canberra, video 
  • Australian scientists take to the streets to protest job cuts – Abandoning their usual reserve, nearly 1000 scientists across the country downed instruments and grabbed placards this week to protest pending job losses at the nation’s leading research organization, the CSIRO – Science Magazine, weblink 

View a complete list of recent media here.

Social media

The events received a great deal of interest online, with union members and supporters using the tag #supportCSIRO to share content and get the message out opposing Gov’t cuts to CSIRO.

Have your say

Did you attend one of the protest actions over the week? What was your experience? Got an interesting insight or story to tell? What should the campaign’s next steps be? Post a comment below or send us your thoughts by email.

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