NSW crop research jobs on chopping block

·1-min read

Some 30 research jobs across NSW developing climate change resistant crops could be axed due to the government pulling funding, the union says.

The Public Service Association says $130 million partnership between the state and federal government's Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) inked five years ago is in jeopardy after the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) cut funds.

The union claims 20 field scientists and technicians at the Grains Agronomy and Pathology Partnership (GAPP) in Tamworth and another 10 in Wagga Wagga "have been told to clear out their desks by June 30 this year".

"We live in a sunburnt country which we know is getting more and more parched and this mob in Macquarie Street are pinching pennies," said PSA Assistant Secretary Troy Wright.

"Surely our farming industry isn't going to suffer due to a power struggle between state and federal LNP governments and farmers over who's going to pick up the tab for inventing global warming proof chickpeas, canola or rye?

"This is the demonstration of a government that gives with one hand and takes with the other," he said.

But the DPI has dismissed the union's suggestions.

"The NSW government is not cutting funding for this program nor is it being redirected elsewhere," the office of Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders told AAP.

It said the "protracted" negotiations were due to a bureaucratic reshuffling at the federal body.

The GRDC confirmed to AAP on Wednesday that its current contract would wrap up in June but noted it was "confident" that negotiations with NSW would result in a contract extension.

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