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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

27 June 2002

Bureau of Meteorology to Become an Executive Agency


Australia's outstanding national meteorological service will continue to lead the world following the establishment of the Bureau of Meteorology as an Executive Agency, the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Bureau, Dr Sharman Stone, announced today.

"Weather forecasting was one of the first powers assigned to the Commonwealth of Australia at Federation. Since the Bureau's creation in 1908, it has built a reputation for world class weather, climate, hydrological and oceanographic services," Dr Stone said.

"The Bureau contributes to international scientific research, such as climate change, while at the same time being the familiar voice that gives Australians every day advice on what to expect from the weather".

"The Executive Agency structure will position the Bureau well for the future, clarifying and formalising the degree of independence it has enjoyed since its establishment".

"This announcement follows the Howard Government's allocation of $221.48 million in the 2002-03 Federal Budget to the Bureau to continue to provide the most technologically advanced and accurate forecasting services to the community"

Dr Stone said she was also pleased to announce that Dr John Zillman AO, FTSE, who has been the Director of the Bureau since 1978, will be Head of the new Executive Agency and will continue as Director of Meteorology under the Meteorology Act 1955.

"Dr Zillman has extensive scientific, policy and management experience. He is also President of the World Meteorological Organisation, the United Nations Specialised Agency responsible for international cooperation in meteorology. In particular, he is recognised for his leadership in climate change research" she said.

"An advisory board will be established to assist the Bureau with its user focus and response to the rapidly changing commercial and technological environment in which it now operates. I will announce its membership in the near future", Dr Stone said.

Today's announcement on the new structure and appointment of Dr Zillman as Head of the Executive Agency follows the news that the Bureau will move to new premises at 700 Collins Street, in Melbourne's Docklands precinct, in early 2004.

"All of this will position the Bureau to be at the forefront of providing the best possible weather services and lead national and international weather and climate change research into the future", Dr Stone said.

Contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
Thursday, June 27, 2002

Commonwealth of Australia