In 2010 the Prime Minister said "All of us are here accountable not just to our constituents but to the generations that will come after them and after us." In 2011 the Prime Minister said "We cannot afford to allow the science to become a partisan issue as it is in the United States." In 2015 the Prime Minister said "It is really important for leaders, for prime ministers, for ministers, for people in the media to talk about the importance of change, to talk about the importance of science, to talk about the importance of technology." And just two months ago the Prime Minister launched his innovation statement at the CSIRO.
But today we read that the Turnbull government has cut up to 110 positions in the Oceans and Atmosphere Division of the CSIRO, and more in the Land and Water Division. Total job cuts will be about 350 staff over two years. 'Climate will be all gone, basically,' according to one scientist.
This comes on top of this government already making the biggest job cuts in the CSIRO's history. The Abbott and Turnbull governments have cut $878 million from science and research agencies, including almost $115 million from the CSIRO. Nearly 900 scientists have already lost their jobs. At least 500 jobs will go at CSIRO, 96 at Geoscience Australia, 64 at ANSTO and 58 at the Bureau of Meteorology. Despite all the Prime Minister's rhetoric, despite his grandstanding, the truth is clear: the government is bad for science, bad for innovation, bad for jobs and bad for our future.