Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Review of the Bureau of Meteorology's Capacity

Media release
18 July 2011
DF11/028

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is being reviewed to assess its capacity to provide seasonal forecasting services and to respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters.

Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, today said the review will ensure the Bureau can continue to deliver these essential services in the future.

“For more than 100 years, the Bureau has performed a vital role in the provision of meteorological, climatic and other scientific information,” Senator Farrell said.

“Last summer’s severe floods across many parts of Australia, in addition to tropical cyclones including Yasi and bushfires in Western Australia, demonstrated the large and increasing demand for Bureau services and the sustained pressure this can place on the agency.

“More recently, the Japanese and New Zealand earthquakes and the Chilean volcano have highlighted the breadth of the Bureau’s work, which includes warning of potential tsunamis and of volcanic ash in the atmosphere.

“The Government is determined to ensure that the Bureau continues to have the capacity to efficiently and effectively provide the services that Australians require now and in the future.

“This capacity is particularly important in light of scientific advice that climate change could further increase the incidence and severity of Australia’s extreme weather events.”

The review is being led by Ms Chloe Munro, who brings strong commercial skills and expertise in public policy and corporate finance through her senior leadership experience in the public and private sectors both in Australia and overseas.

Ms Munro will be supported by relevant technical experts as required, and will seek input from key stakeholders to inform the review’s assessments and findings.

The review is expected to present its findings to the government by the end of November 2011.

The review’s terms of reference can be found at: http://www.environment.gov.au/about/bom.