Hobart is set to be home to a Climate Science division of the CSIRO as the Turnbull Government begins rolling back the policies of the previous Abbott Government.
After 275 jobs were cut from the CSIRO, and the focus moved from climate science to “adapting” to climate change, new Science Minister Greg Hunt has now announced an additional $3.7 million in funding and an extra 15 jobs.
The Hobart centre will comprise around 40 researchers.
“Climate science is important, it’s significant, it’s critical to our long-term planning,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt has announced an extra 15 jobs focusing on climate science, as well as additional support, costing $3.7 million a year.
He told the ABC it would increase the number of climate researchers from 100 to 115 after the latest round of job cuts is taken into account.
Mr Hunt said both he and Mr Turnbull have “clear and strong views” on the value of climate change science.
“We have clearly but respectfully made that known to the CSIRO and they’ve embraced and endorsed the direction and so climate science will be a bedrock function of the CSIRO, which is really one of the world’s great institutions,” Mr Hunt said.
“It’s a new Government and we’re laying out a direction that climate science matters.”
Despite the apparent change in Government thinking, CSIRO advocates say the damage caused by the 275 job cuts is unlikely to be reversed.
They point to the axing of CSIRO Fellow Dr John Church, a leading researcher on sea level modelling, as evidence of what the organisation has lost.
The Government’s renewed appreciated for the climate since work done by the CSIRO comes as new One National Senator from Queensland, Malcolm Lewis, called for a half to any climate change funding and an investigation into the CSIRO for “corruption climate science.”