Greens Deputy Leader and Science spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said that Tony Abbott is a threat to Australia’s prosperity.
“If Tony Abbott’s Commission of Audit is a front for cuts to CSIRO’s budget of 15-20%, as CSIRO believes, Australia’s prosperity will suffer,” said Mr Bandt.
“Australia depends on research and research depends on secure, long-term funding.
“A 15-20% funding cut could rip the guts out of CSIRO and accelerate Australia’s ‘brain drain’. Losing more of our scientific talent is not in the national interest.
“Many areas of our society, whether it’s agriculture, land and water, energy, food futures, health, digital productivity or ecosystems, stand to be adversely affected if CSIRO is defunded in this way.
“We can’t continue to produce world-class research if the Government keeps threatening the research budget every May. Tony Abbott must rule out any cuts to CSIRO and research in the May budget.
“Last time the Government threatened cuts to the research budget, thousands of scientists donned their lab coats and took to the streets.
“This year, the Senate and the ‘Respect Research’ campaign have already made it clear that the Parliament and the public will not support research cuts.
“Faced with a choice between knights and dames or science and innovation, Tony Abbott has opted for feudalism.
“The Greens are putting Tony Abbott on notice that if he cuts research, he should expect the mother of all battles,” said Mr Bandt.
Projects that CSIRO is currently working on include advancing aquaculture feed and prawn breeding, protecting Australia’s Defence Force with innovative body armour and transforming the cotton industry for competitive results
CSIRO’s contributions to Australia include solar hot water, gene shears, Wi-Fi and the flu jab.