Aussie job cuts worry scientists

Australia's major government science body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), plans to cut up to 25% of its research support staff during the next three years to save about $30 million (Australian) per year.

Stephen Pincock
Dec 4, 2005

Australia's major government science body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), plans to cut up to 25% of its research support staff during the next three years to save about $30 million (Australian) per year. Mike Whelan, the organization's chief financial officer, says the staff review and reduction will bring CSIRO in line with other comparable organizations. "We spend in the order of $985 million a year [in total expenditure] and about one-third of that is on support. In some cases we spend about double what others spend on support," he says.

Michael Borgas, an atmospheric research scientist at CSIRO and president of the organization's staff association, believes the job cuts aren't only about saving money; they are part of a much wider reorganization the agency has been undergoing over the past few years. Under CEO Geoff Garrett, CSIRO has focused its efforts on several flagship programs that...