Labor commits $10 million to boost CSIRO climate science centre capabilities

A Shorten Labor Government will commit $10 million to boost the capabilities of the CSIRO Climate Science Centre, better coordinate Australian climate science and develop an Australian climate science capability plan.

Our scientific community has warned us that unless we boost our capabilities and our coordination of climate science we will not be able to meet our international obligations.

Australia should never again be faced with the threat of our national science agency being forced to exit the field of climate science, or sacking hundreds of climate scientists, as happened under the Liberals in 2016.

That is why a Shorten Labor Government will develop a national climate science capability plan with the assistance of a National Scientific Expert Panel and the National Climate Science Advisory Committee.

This investment will directly boost the CSIRO climate science capabilities in Hobart, Aspendale and Black Mountain (Canberra) as well is in partner agencies across the country.

Labor has listened to the advice provided in the Academy of Science Review of Climate Science Capability, which was released in 2017 that stated:

There are weaknesses in coordination and resourcing arrangements for Australian climate science that create avoidable inefficiency. Substantial gains could be realised by measures to improve coordination arrangements….

Academy of Science Review of Climate Science Capability, Page 5

Labor expects that this would result in 20 new scientific positions in the CSIRO Climate Science Centre.

The Liberals have treated Australian’s climate scientists with contempt and distain over the past six years while also reducing spending on science, research and innovation by 10 per cent over the past five years, a cut of $1.1 billion.

Bill Shorten has declared that Labor will end the Coalition’s war on science and research.

If elected, a Shorten Labor Government will also:

  • Establish, for the first time in 20 years, a once in a generation, root-and-branch inquiry into strengthening our research capabilities across the whole of government.
  • Develop a charter with the Australian science and research community to establish the reciprocal roles, responsibilities and expectations of government and researchers.
  • Set a target to lift Australian spending on Research and Development from 1.8 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent and restore our international competitiveness; and
  • Restore the integrity of the Australian Research Council, by ending political interference in the grants process and legislating a requirement that ministers must table an explanation in Parliament within 15 sitting days of rejecting any recommendation of funding by the

    Chief Executive Office.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plans for more jobs in science and research, or the Liberals’ war on science and plans to deliver bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town.

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready to deliver a fair go for all Australians.

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