CSIRO Aspendale Facility

Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — I raise a matter for the Minister for Industry. The action I seek is for the minister to visit the CSIRO facility in my electorate, in Aspendale, to see firsthand the effects proposed changes would have on the site in Aspendale. Members of Parliament might know some of the huge achievements that CSIRO has spearheaded, one key stand-out being wi-fi, with its benefits for industry. The CSIRO in Aspendale focuses on, among other key elements, marine atmospheric research.

The proposed changes and cuts by the federal government to the CSIRO across the board are an absolute about-face from what Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull put forward as his agenda in investing in science, industry and research. They will have a huge impact. The notion that has been put forward by the federal government that the diversion of funds or diversion of strategy by the CSIRO is about focusing on industry is an absolute falsehood. If you are cutting science and research in this particular area, you are going to have an effect on the CSIRO across the board.

One of our key growth areas is investment in energy efficiency. We know those on the other side are completely against that with their previous policies on wind farms that were completely absurd and only sent the industry interstate or overseas. They absolutely destroyed the sector during their time in office. Instead of cutting, the federal government should be looking to invest. That is what we are doing.

I ask the Minister for Industry to come out to the CSIRO facility to understand those impacts. The cuts to jobs at the CSIRO site could see the jobs of up to 70 scientists from the 110 staff on site — people in my community — lost to Victoria. I ask the minister to come out, visit the CSIRO and hear firsthand about some of these impacts.