Queensland Nationals Senator Ron Boswell today challenged Capricornia MP, Ms Kirsten Livermore, to stand up and fight for increased CSIRO funding to retain the JM Rendell Laboratory. The facility provides vital research for Queensland’s $3 Billion beef industry through its work in genetics, nutrition and the interaction of livestock with the environment.
“There is no prize for losing a CSIRO Lab from Rockhampton, Ms Livermore,” Senator Boswell said.
“Ms Livermore is part of the Rudd Labor Government and if she can’t save a beef cattle research centre in the Beef Capital, then she is not doing her job.”
“Coalition Governments have kept this facility open and the Rudd Government’s first budget has closed it down.”
“The CSIRO have admitted that the closure of this Rockhampton facility is a direct result of last week’s budget cuts to their funding,” Senator Boswell said (‘CSIRO continues to set science directions for future’ CSIRO Media Release 21/05/08).
“The Rudd Labor budget cuts forced the CSIRO to make cutbacks and this facility will disappear as a result.”
“This closure now has the potential to throw into question the role of the Belmont Research Station that has operated for 55 years and is run by the Rockhampton CSIRO” Senator Boswell said.
The Federal Science and Innovations Minister Kim Carr has stated, “it had been a tough decision driven by the need to deliver real cuts in budget expenditure” when commenting on cuts to CSIRO funding (‘Research to suffer as CSIRO slashes jobs’, The Australian 22/05/08 p.4).
“Ms Livermore can no longer shirk her responsibilities; it was her government’s budget cuts that closed this facility and she has done nothing to stop it.”
“Rockhampton is the Beef Capital of Australia and so it is logical that a world class beef research unit be based there, close to the industry it services,” Senator Boswell said.
“This is yet another blow to Central Queensland with the loss of at least 7 Regional Partnerships projects, 4 Small Business Field Officers and now 27 staff from a beef industry laboratory.”