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Climate science on chopping block as CSIRO braces for massive job cuts

The CSIRO is bracing for significant job cuts, with the organisation's climate science teams expected to be the hardest hit.

The ABC understands up to 300 positions over the next two years are on the chopping block, largely in the Oceans and Atmosphere and Land and Water divisions.

However, there will be no net loss of jobs by the end of the two-year period.

The organisation will attempt to redeploy as many staff as possible in emerging areas such as data science, sources say.

Staff are due to be notified today and a CSIRO spokesman said the organisation would not comment until the announcement.

It is not clear whether any redundancies will be voluntary.

In 2014, the Federal Government slashed more than $110 million from the organisation's budget, prompting national protests.

The CSIRO Staff Association estimated that in the past two years 1,400 jobs had been lost at the organisation.

But scientists became far more optimistic when the Prime Minister launched the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December last year.

Malcolm Turnbull committed $90 million to the CSIRO to support increased commercialisation of research.

He also announced $75 million of funding to a CSIRO business unit known as Data61, which will focus research on areas such as cybersecurity and robotics.

At the time, Science Minister Christopher Pyne said organisations like the CSIRO were "among the best in the world".

Reacting to the announcement of a fresh round of cuts, Greens MP Adam Bandt hit out at the Prime Minister.

"Malcolm Turnbull is an innovation imposter if he allows these reported cuts at CSIRO to go ahead," he said.

"In Paris, the Prime Minister said research and innovation are key to dealing with global warming, yet here at home the Liberal government's cuts to the CSIRO mean that hundreds of climate scientists could be getting the axe."

ABC

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