US news anchor hits out at CSIRO cuts

A TV news anchor in the United States has put his voice behind public servants at the CSIRO about to be cut after the federal government's harsh budget.

Atlanta-based CNN International presenter John Vause tweeted: "In Australia they once protested to save the trees, now forestry scientists are in danger! Hug a scientist?"

His comment comes days after it emerged CSIRO staff would have less than a month to bargain over their new agreement. 

Hundreds of jobs will be cut at the organisation, and millions of dollars in funding has been slashed by the government. 


Mr Vause grew up in Australia and is a former Channel Seven reporter who covered the reverberations of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It is not known how Mr Vause came across the campaign.

Like many media personalities, the genesis of his career can be tracked back to WIN News in Canberra, where he worked at the start of the 1990s, according to LinkedIn.

His tweet about CSIRO job cuts included a YouTube video of the Australian Forest Products Association's Ross Hampton and his "carbon cycle" - a whimsical bike partly made from timber which Mr Hampton recently rode to a CSIRO base in Canberra to protest against reduction of forestry science positions.  

Mr Hampton, the chief executive of a powerful lobby group which recently had the attention of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, was also a former TV journalist and public relations consultant who said: "We should be growing this industry and not handing the field to Chile, China, New Zealand, Canada and Vietnam."