Latest cuts to CSIRO hit research into Manufacturing, Agriculture and Digital Productivity

The cuts keep coming for Australia’s largest Government laboratory, the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The CSIRO Staff Association said that management documents reveal plans to retrench 75 researchers in manufacturing, agriculture and digital productivity.

CSIRO’s funding was cut by $115 million in May’s federal budget. More than 700 jobs at CSIRO are predicted to be lost by the end of the financial year.

Cutting the future

Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said that the cuts would directly affect research into manufacturing, agriculture and digital productivity.

“These latest job losses represent a combination of Federal Government budget cuts and declining industry investment in CSIRO research,” Mr Popovski said.

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Research into Manufacturing will take the biggest hit. Management will cut up to 45 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions; affecting research into fibres, chemicals, high-performance metals, biomedical manufacturing and innovative industries.

CSIRO’s Agricultural Flagship will lose six researchers working on areas including cereal physiology and genetics and aquaculture.

The Digital Productivity Flagship will cull 25 FTE staff from across a range of unspecified programs. The Flagship mission is to improve Australian productivity through the use of data and digital technology.

“Most Australians would expect that research that supports innovation and jobs in manufacturing, agriculture and the digital economy should be increased, not cut,” Mr Popovski said.

“So I think that in addition to affected staff and their CSIRO colleagues, the wider community is entitled to feel dismayed at these cuts to Australia’s future,” he said.

The majority of job losses will be felt in Victoria and New South Wales, with a smaller number of positions cut from the ACT and Queensland workforce.

Mr Popovski said that union members affected by the redundancies would receive individual support and advice from Staff Association organisers and delegates.

“We’re also asking CSIRO staff to sign a pledge that calls on incoming Chief Executive Larry Marshall to stop the cuts and commit to growing research and support jobs across the organisation,” he said.

The latest CSIRO research cuts come less than a month after the Federal Government’s Industry policy announcement that outlined five priority areas that included both advanced manufacturing and agribusiness.

Management advice 

Media comment 

To arrange an interview with Sam Popovski call 0410 330 764 or email anthony.keenan@cpsu.org.au

More information 

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