The CSIRO has announced that it will need to cut a number of infectious disease research positions at its Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Australia’s only facility capable of working with some the world’s most deadly diseases, including Ebola.

Scientific experts have condemned the Abbott Government’s budget cuts to the CSIRO of $114 million over four years at the cost of 700 jobs saying that:

“Funding cuts will leave the nation exposed to new and emerging infectious disease agents”

[Director of Queensland University’s Infectious Disease Research Centre – The Age, 15 August 2014]

Australia’s agricultural sector is reliant upon maintaining its reputation as being free of many of the world’s diseases to capitalise on its clean, green and safe natural advantage.

The Abbott Government is placing Australia’s agriculture at risk by pursuing cuts within our scientific community, obviously not understanding its importance to the sector.

Once again the Abbott Government shows a lack of understanding of the issues facing rural and regional Australia by placing our agriculture sector under heightened biosecurity threat.

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