Among the cuts in last night’s federal budget were significant decreases for the CSIRO and Cooperative Research Centres program.
The CRC program will have its funding cut by $80 million over the next four years, with its 17th selection round not going ahead. The CSIRO will have its funding reduced by $146.8 million over the four-year forward estimates period.
"Eighty million dollars is a lot and I feel terrible for those people that have been working so hard on the current funding round,” Tony Peacock, CEO of the program, told Farm Weekly.
“But no existing CRCs are affected, including those in contract negotiations following the last round. We have a major review coming up and we need to redouble our efforts again to demonstrate the value of the program.”
The peak scientific body, the CSIRO, will cut over 500 workers following reduced funding, the ABC reports. This amounts to a tenth of its workforce.
The cuts were apparently not a surprise, with reports emerging last month that modeling had been prepared within the organisation for a reduction of up to a fifth of its $757 million in Commonwealth funding annually.