Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has called on Malcolm Turnbull to overturn the Abbott-era policy changes that are preventing the Hobart-based Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre from reapplying for funding.
“Senator Whish-Wilson said, “While I welcome any funding offers for STEM training and for an Antarctic precinct, it is all for nothing if the Government keeps cutting science jobs in Hobart.
“Already the Australian Antarctic Division has lost 30% of its scientists because of funding cuts and currently at least 70 Hobart jobs are on the line if the Antarctic Climate Ecosystems CRC is wound up.
“We are facing a situation with Antarctic and climate science where the government is funding ships and buildings but is cutting scientists. It’s like the scene in Yes Minister when the department builds a hospital but due to cost-cutting it can’t afford doctors or nurses, so doesn’t let in any patients.
“The funding for the CRC runs out at the end of this year and the lack of clarity about the future is putting pressure on scientists to leave Hobart for job security and is interfering with research planning.
“There has been no signal from the Federal government about whether they will reverse the decision affecting the future of the CRC and no sign that Will Hodgman has intervened to protect Tasmanian jobs,” he concluded.
Media contact: Tim Beshara 0409 164 603