Public support for CSIRO in the face of proposed cuts continues to grow, with Melbourne set to follow rallies in Hobart and Canberra.
Meanwhile Staff Association members have been making their presence across other parts of the country, from the home turf of Science Minister Christopher Pyne to the community around Victoria’s Aspendale Laboratory.
Melbourne rally Saturday 2 April
Following public demonstrations in Hobart and outside Parliament House in Canberra, Melbournians are being called to support CSIRO at a rally outside the State Library of Victoria at 12pm, Saturday 2 April.
Speakers will include Labor MP Mark Dreyfus, Greens Senator Janet Rice and actor Samuel Johnson.
Thousands sign petition to support CSIRO
While the latest proposed cuts to CSIRO have attracted widespread criticism and media attention – both at home and abroad – there has also been an outpouring of support for the scientists and support staff of the organisation.
An example of this is the online petition set up by the Community and Public Sector Union as part of their Proud to be Public campaign. Under the theme of Proud to be Innovating, the CPSU petition in support of CSIRO has attracted over 4,500 signatures.
Meanwhile CSIRO Staff Association members in South Australia turned the spotlight on Science Minister Christopher Pyne with a colourful display outside the Member for Sturt’s electorate office.
At the conclusion of the protest Staff Association Deputy President Sonia Grocke, and Section Councillor Ben Scherer presented to Minister Pyne’s staff a letter outlining some of the recent achievements of South Australian CSIRO researchers.
The letter warned that cuts to funding, research and job put future research at risk and went on to state that the Staff Association would continue to encourage our members to campaign in local electorates to maintain CSIRO critical in the national science agenda.
Back to Melbourne, close to CSIRO’s Aspendale Laboratories, a community forum was held by the federal Labor Member for Isaacs, Mark Dreyfus QC discussing the importance of CSIRO’s research, particularly in light of management’s planned cuts to climate programs.
Presenting to the large audience was former Chief Scientist of Australia Professor Ian Chubb, climate scientist Professor Will Steffen, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric research scientist Dr. Kathy McInnes, and Shadow Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Senator Kim Carr.
Despite the general sense of disbelief among Aspendale staff and the broader community at the scale and impact of the proposed cuts, there was a good variety of questions from the audience, along with some rousing statements in support of CSIRO climate scientists.
Senator Carr also called on the Turnbull Government put a halt to the proposed cuts at CSIRO until after the election, and committed Labor to investigate the management and culture of the organisation if elected.