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‘It doesn’t pass the test’: CSIRO would ‘absolutely’ have applied for $444-million reef grant

Ben Fordham Exclusive
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The CSIRO says they would “absolutely” have applied for the $444-million grant handed to a small private foundation by the government if they’d had the chance.

The government has still failed to explain why almost half a billion dollars found it’s way into the bank account of The Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Yesterday, Ben Fordham confronted Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg in a fiery interview, repeatedly pressing the minister to answer why a competitive tender process wasn’t in place.

Mr Frydenberg never came up with an answer, and the CSIRO isn’t happy about being overlooked.

They’re now calling for the decision to be recalled.

CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski tells Ben Fordham they would “absolutely” have applied for the grant.

“We’ve got probably 100 scientists that work on the reef.

“Simply to get $6 million, for example, they probably have to work for about 12 months to lobby the government and try to get those funds to do their research.”

Mr Popovski says the governments should “definitely reconsider” their decision.

“It doesn’t pass the test of suspiciousness, how this money ended up in these hands so quickly, and it should be rescinded.

“And we should go back to using the money in the best way, which in our view, means involving CSIRO scientists from the start to get the best outcomes.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview