Increase funding to public good research at CSIRO



Increase funding to public good research at CSIRO


Friends of CSIRO is a network of concerned citizens who are campaigning to restore critical funding to CSIRO and reverse the job cuts.
Friends of CSIRO has been formed in response to the ongoing cutbacks to CSIRO’s funding over recent years, and in particular, the recent announcements that CSIRO will cut 275 jobs in a number of divisions, including from the crucial Oceans and Atmosphere and Land and Water divisions. 
Friends of CSIRO has members in QLD, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT and is quickly becoming a national organization. 
Friends of CSIRO is growing rapidly as the public expresses its opposition to the CSIRO cutbacks.

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Events & News

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Events & News

Want to find out what we are up to?

Which political parties will support science and research this election? 18th May 2019

The Science Party


Our quality of life is improved by the continued application of reason and by scientific discovery.   The Science Party aims to increase the opportunity for individuals and push society towards the pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of all of humanity.  

Science & Technology

·  Double research funding to $18.4bn

·  Create an Australian space agency

·  Legalise driverless car testing

·  Increase health research to end aging.

The Greens

The Greens have a comprehensive Science and Research Policy which is reflected in the Research and Development Platform for this election.  Main features of the platform are to:

·      Put Australia on a pathway to investing 4% of GDP in science, research and innovation by 2030;

·      Make jobs for scientists and researchers more secure;

·      Reverse funding cuts to CSIRO and other public research agencies;

·      Create a ‘Protecting Science’ package - $2.557b boost to the ARC the NHMRC and Cooperative Research Centres over the next decade;

·      Provide $1.054 b to promote health and medical research by supporting the Medical Research Future Fund, four new integrated health research centres and increasing funding for health and medical research;

·      Increase funding to the Research Infrastructure Investment Strategy by $2.177 b over the decade;

·      Research, development and deployment of carbon neutral technologies for manufacturing and industry and R&D to reduce greenhouse emissions from sea and air transport and agriculture;

·      Research, development and deployment of processes aimed at converting renewable energy into exportable resources, eg hydrogen;

·      Support greater commercialisation of Australian research and innovation in Australia by local companies.


Other initiatives support university research, international collaboration, open access publishing of Government funded research, women in science, and teacher training in STEM education.  They plan to improve the R&D Tax Incentive by providing a 20% non refundable tax offset for companies that hire STEM PhD or equivalent graduates in their field of expertise.

They also propose the establishment of a Future of Work Commission to examine the impacts of technological innovation and develop strategies for more long term, secure jobs.



Labor has a number of policies at this election which include science initiatives.  Labor’s Plan for Science at the Centre of Government includes a proposal to boost Australia’s investment in research and development to 3% of GDP per annum by 2030.  Other initiatives include to:

·      Establish a Prime Minister’s Science and Innovation Council supported by a National Scientific Expert Panel;

·      Review and strengthen the National Science and Research Priorities, giving the priorities a central role in guiding government investments in innovation, science and research;

·      Legislate to restore the Integrity of the ARC, including a requirement that ministers must table an explanation in Parliament within 15 sitting days of rejecting a recommendation of funding by the Chief Executive of the ARC;

·      Invest more than $100 m into marine science, Including $30 m redevelopment of the ReefHQ in Townsville, more funding for AIMS and the refit of the RV Cape Ferguson science vessel;

·      Redirect the $444m grant that went to the private Great Barrier Reef Foundation without a tender process, to the government reef agencies like AIMS;

·      Support and invest in the Australian Space Agency and the space industry;

·      Kick-start Australia’s hydrogen economy with a $1 b National Hydrogen Plan, including up to $90 m to support research, demonstration and pre-commercial development of hydrogen technologies $3 million to establish the National Hydrogen Innovation Hub in Gladstone;

·      Commit $10 m to boost the capabilities of the CSIRO Climate Science Centre, better coordinate Australian climate science and develop an Australian climate science capability plan;

·      Invest more the $1 b in new environment programs to tackle the extinction crisis and other environment protection needs.


Liberal Party

The Liberal Party has announced at least 26 ‘Our Plan’ policies for this election but we have found no plan for science or research and development as such.


The Liberal Party does not appear to value science highly as demonstrated by the drastic cuts to CSIRO and other science organisations, particularly climate science, since 2014. 


Expenditure on research and development as a percentage of GDP fell from 2.12 per cent in 2011 to 1.92 percent in 2015 (latest data available for Australia from the World Bank).




Some other countries R&D expenditure as % of GDP (World Bank data)

Korea                 4.23                    2016

Switzerland      3.37                    2015

Sweden             3.25                    2016

Japan                 3.14                    2016

Germany           2.94                    2016   

United States   2.74                    2016

Norway             2.03                    2016

Netherlands     2.03                    2016

Singapore         2.16                    2014

UK                      1.69                    2016


Politics in the Pub - 23rd February 2018 - Sydney


Stand up for science and come join us for a drink and a chat about the campaign to save public good research. Dr Maxine McCall will give an update on the Friends of CSIRO campaign and introduce Dr Georgia Miller for the evenings topic of discussion, 'The commercialisation of Health Science'. We would love to see you and all welcome. 

Politics in the Pub - NSW - 23.2.2018.png


On the 22nd April 2017, Friends of CSIRO joined concerned citizens from all over Australia for the global March For Science rallies. The March for Science rallies were held in over 600 cities all across the world, and held on Earth Day. The March for Science rallies were held to celebrate science and acknowledge the contribution of science to our every day lives. The rallies were held to call for evidence-based policymaking, government funding for scientific research, government transparency and government acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change. Friends of CSIRO were very happy to be a part of this great movement, and hope that our politicians and policymakers recognise the wide community support for public good research and for our wonderful scientific institutions such as CSIRO and many others.



Friends of CSIRO media release responding to the proposed 1.3 billion cuts to ARENA in the Omnibus Bill. This will mean further cuts to CSIRO which will have a devastating impact on Australia's renewables research capacity. View pdf here




Details of upcoming events



Friends of CSIRO media releases & submissions



News articles in the media


FRIENDS OF CSIRO FIlm screening & Meeting for SCIENCE WEEK in Sydney

Friends of CSIRO will be holding a meeting to set up Friends of CSIRO group in Sydney, followed by a film screening. 

Friends of CSIRO Meeting: 6pm,
Wed 17th August,
CPSU offices, Level 7
191-199 Thomas St. Haymarket

Film: 7pm – A Fierce Green Fire

Refreshments provided. Further details will be provided shortly. All welcome.


Want to Get involved?

Help us to save CSIRO from continued cuts to staff and funding


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Want to Get involved?

Help us to save CSIRO from continued cuts to staff and funding


Sign Up

Make a quick PHONE CALL


You can help Friends of CSIRO by making a quick phone call:

A.   The Prime Minister, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, and let him know what you think about the proposed CSIRO job cuts. 

  1. Ask him to reverse the job cuts
  2. Ask him to reinstate critical funding to CSIRO

Parliament Office - (02) 6277 7700

Electorate Office - (02) 9327 3988

B.   The Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP.

Parliament Office - (02) 6277 7070

Electorate Office - (03) 5979 3188


You can help Friends of CSIRO by writing a letter or email to:

  1. your local MP or Senator
  2. to the Minister for Industry Innovation & Science, or
  3. your favorite newspaper. 

To find your local MP/Senator use the Parliament of Australia link

Please sign the CPSU petition calling for the job cuts to be reversed, the change.org petition calling for the job of CSIRO scientist and sea level rise expert, John Church to be reinstated, and the petition calling on the Liberal and CSIRO management stop decimating our CSIRO. Add your voice to growing list of concerned members of the community. 


VOLUNTEER with Friends of CSIRO

You can volunteer with friends of CSIRO and join a local branch in your state. 

We will be running events all over the country and can always use an extra pair of hands to get the message out to the community. 

If you would like to VOLUNTEER, please sign up using the link below. You can also:

Like us on FACEBOOK & invite your friends to like the page too.



We would like to extend our special thanks to the following sponsors:

National Tertiary Education Union & to Lighter Footprints