Media release

Job cuts at CSIRO will put the health of Australians at risk

Australian health professionals today described planned cuts to climate research at CSIRO as “a shocking and poor decision” that must be reversed.


Climate and Health Alliance President Dr Liz Hanna said the proposed cuts would gut climate science within the nation’s leading science body – putting the health of the nation and its citizens at serious risk.


“Climate change is the greatest health threat facing humanity, and Australia is extraordinarily vulnerable. We have all witnessed first-hand how bushfires, heatwaves, floods and droughts have effected Australians over the past few months,” Dr Hanna said.


She said climate change science underpins planning and programs for the health sector in Australia with climate modelling used by health researchers to identify issues, monitor changes, plan a response, and prepare resources.


“Health and medical researchers rely heavily on CSIRO climate modelling to understand the health risks to individuals as well as larger population groups. Axing these globally respected climate experts from the CSIRO will directly threaten the future health of Australians.”


Dr Hanna said health professionals were also worried about the health implications of axing scientists from the land and water division of CSIRO as they worked to secure Australia’s water and food supplies.


“Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent so water security is a critical issue. All our major cities have faced water shortages, and some towns have completely run out of water. People must have access to clean, safe and secure food and water supplies in order to survive.”