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19-May-2013

Wong, Carr implicated in CSIRO scandal

Kim Carr and Penny Wong

Finance Minister Penny Wong and former Science Minister Kim Carr have serious questions to answer following revelations of more claims of corruption at the CSIRO.

In Fairfax newspapers it has been reported that a Swiss manufacturer was deliberately deceived by CSIRO officials about the effectiveness of a technology designed to prevent the sale of counterfeit drugs.

The Coalition believes that Senator Wong has sat on an investigation of some these claims for two and a half years after being directly contacted in 2010 by Gerry Swiegers, the ex-CSIRO scientist at the centre of the case.

In November 2010, Senator Wong agreed with Dr Swiegers that his claims raised complex issues regarding the operations of the CSIRO and there appear(ed) to be a need to investigate possible contraventions of at least three sets of laws.

Senator Wong also provided copies of the correspondence to Senator Carr.

Senator Wong seemed unaware of the issue when directly asked in Senate Estimates in February 2013 about the progress of the investigation, and has subsequently still not made public any further information about the investigation.

She now has a duty to immediately detail the status of this investigation and explain why it has not been undertaken with urgency.

Although he has since been dumped from his position as Science Minister, Senator Carr also needs to explain what he did to investigate the major and mounting allegations of bullying, intimidation and criminality that are now rocking Australia's best known scientific institution.

The Coalition renews its call for a comprehensive and independent inquiry into allegations of serious mismanagement by CSIRO in order to find the source, and to remedy these problems so that the deterioration of CSIRO's reputation can arrested.





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