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Christine fights to protect Hobart's role as science hub

Christine has met with Prime Minister Gillard to raise concerns about the threats to a number of Hobart's science institutions that are central to the nation's scientific knowledge and the local Tasmanian economy.

Science is integral to Hobart's economic DNA - we have hundreds of marine and Antarctic scientists working here, and several world-renowned institutions based here.

Christine spoke to the Prime Minister in Canberra about the clouds gathering over a number of Hobart's science institutions - the Antarctic and Climate Ecosystems CRC and the Integrated Marine Observation System.

The Greens will continue to lobby the Prime Minister about the issue and will push for funding to be directed to a number of marine and Antarctic science institutions as part of our budget work.


Christine wrote to the Prime Minister on the 20th of September:

Dear Prime Minister

RE: Funding for the ACE CRC and IMOS in Tasmania

I understand my predecessor, Senator Bob Brown, detailed his concerns to the government about de-funding of the Antarctic, Climate & Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre in Tasmania earlier this year.

The Greens continue to strongly oppose the forecast closure of both the ACE-CRC and the IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System).

The ACE-CRC is undertaking work of national and international significance and runs on a very modest budget of $5 million per year. While your response to Senator Brown states that the CRC funding is limited to allow emerging issues to get a foothold, climate change and Antarctic research will continue to be a major focus for our scientists for years to come and they need a secure funding stream to allow for better planning.

Also of importance to me as a Tasmanian Senator is ensuring the continuation of Tasmania's efforts to position itself as a hub of scientific excellence in Antarctic and marine studies. The employees of the CRC and IMOS are important for achieving a critical mass of scientists in Hobart.

In the case of IMOS, I understand that no funding has been identified for this work beyond June 2013, would you please confirm this is the case? This project is essential for Australia to understand what is occurring in its marine territory and has a budget of $18 million through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and the Super Science Initiative. lt's essential that this important work be given a more secure funding future.

Yours Sincerely,

Senator Christine Milne

Australian Greens leader

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