Story submitted by Eric Worrall
The Australian government has decided to not renew any of the management board of the Australian CSIRO. Naturally, outgoing board members are not very happy with the decision. According to Simon McKeon, outgoing chairman of the CSIRO;
“There appears to be a “brutal” rule that directors of federal government agencies appointed under Labor will not get another term, the outgoing CSIRO chairman Simon McKeon has said.
“The reality is that, yes, there is a rule that no one on the board of a federal government agency has been reappointed,” McKeon said when asked about the Labor board appointees at an Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) function on Thursday. “It’s an issue that many people are finding worrying.”
McKeon, whose term as the CSIRO chairman ends in June, said it was not about him.
“The great majority of people who put up their hands to serve on a federal government agency are really doing it for the nation,” he said. “All I’m saying is we’re missing out on the corporate memory.
“It’s, I would argue, an unnecessary distraction to what’s already a very challenging bunch of organisations.”
Nobody is saying why the government appears to have taken a hard line on the non renewal of previous political appointments. In America it is normal for political appointments to be replaced by an incoming government. This is less common in Australia.
It is possible that McKeon’s outspoken views on climate change may have contributed to differences between the CSIRO board, and the more skeptical Australian government. According to his Wikipedia entry, Simon McKeon appears to be strongly in favour of more funding for climate research.
“On climate change, McKeon has expressed his desire to see the topic raised to the top of both the “political and public agenda”. He said “We may not have all the answers to what is occurring, … [b]ut the point is, why wouldn’t one take out very strong insurance to at least do what we can to future-proof our well-being?”