The CSIRO’s decision to join the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) was criticized by environmentalists who took the matter to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Source: ABC Melbourne
It was reported by the ABC that Jill Redwood an activist from Environment East Gippsland lodged a complaint with the ombudsman’s office, which was investigated but subsequently dismissed.
Environmentalists had complained the CSIRO’s reputation as an independent research organisation was damaged when it paid to become a member of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA).
But the ombudsman has decided any damage to the reputation of the organisation is outweighed by the benefits of being a member of the lobby group.
Ms Redwood had cited the association between the AFPA and the CSIRO was a serious conflict of interests.
The CSIRO has explained that it had joined the AFPA in an effort to improve its networking within the industry, a point that the ombudsman thought was valid.
According to the ABC Ms Redwood has sent another letter to the ombudsman asking for ‘a proper investigation’.