National

CSIRO forestry jobs 'saved', says Australian Forest Products Association lobby group

Ross Hampton, forest industry lobbyist, campaigning to save the CSIRO jobs earlier in the year.
Ross Hampton, forest industry lobbyist, campaigning to save the CSIRO jobs earlier in the year. Photo: Jeff Chan

Forestry scientist jobs at CSIRO which were supposedly on the chopping block have been "saved", according to one source.

Ross Hampton, chief executive of the Australian Forest Products Association which has been lobbying against jobs cuts in the niche field, said Friday morning the organisation had received a letter from CSIRO saying the cuts, which could have affected up to 34 positions, would not happen. 

The cuts were never officially announced but were understood to be looming. 

"We're delighted," said Mr Hampton as he stood for three hours in the sun on Friday holding a sign which said "thank you" before adding "I'm going back to work now - I'm getting burnt".

The scientists will stay to work on greenhouse gas mitigation, climate adaptation strategies, water, fire and environmental management relating to trees.

Previously he has said forestry scientists at CSIRO who lost their jobs would move away from Australia to places such as Chile or China.

"We've got a $22 billion industry worth about 6 per cent of manufacturing GDP," he said in June. "It's massively important we have forests research for the whole industry."

The 34 jobs were based in Canberra and Tasmania.