Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell, issued a warning today against a CSIRO plan to reduce funding to rural research and direct research focus away from programs promoting renewable fuels.
“Most rural industries are travelling at a reasonable pace on the back of good national economic management, reasonable commodity prices and plenty of their own hard work to remain competitive,” Senator Boswell said.
“However, maintaining the competitive edge in all industries requires ongoing research to refine management practices and find greater efficiencies than our international competitors are able to find. This is particularly true of rural industry”
“I find the announcement of a 5 per cent cut to CSIRO funding for livestock and wool industry research unacceptable, particularly for the wool industry which is facing harder times at present, and particularly as the cut is reported to save just $2 million in a $600 million budget.”
“It is the correct role of Government for its scientists to be involved in rural research. Australian Primary producers don't have the resources to fund research into sustainability, but are constantly being asked by Government to be, and to prove that they are, sustainable.”
“When Australia is on the verge of breaking into a new renewable fuels industry with the support of Government, it also seems that the Government-funded scientific arm, the CSIRO, has made a decision not to focus on research projects that support renewable fuels like ethanol,” he said.
Senator Boswell said that he would be seeking an explanation from the head of CSIRO for their decisions reported in a recent press release and issuing a strong warning that any cuts to CSIRO rural research funding would not be allowed to go unanswered by the rural and regional-based industries it supports.
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