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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders

19 August 2005

Forum to discuss better water management in Queensland

The Australian Government will lead a forum in Brisbane next week on how to better use weather and climate information to effectively plan for Queensland's long-term water management needs.

Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said the forum will look at ways to improve the exchange of information as a means of better managing our most precious resource - water.

"How we manage water use effectively on the driest inhabited continent on the planet is a long-term issue for all Australians," Mr Hunt said.

"This forum brings together a broad cross-section of the Queensland community and discusses how to make the best use of weather and climate information - such as seasonal outlooks and rainfall forecasts - to address this issue and meet the needs of industry and the community.

"A key focus is improving awareness of the range of weather and climate data available from the Bureau of Meteorology and how this can be incorporated into effective decision-making on water use or in drought-proofing businesses for future climate changes.

"This forum has application across all sectors of industry and the community. For the agricultural community, it may involve factoring in the latest rainfall projections in determining the type of land management practices to adopt to achieve optimum results. While this same weather information may be used by water service providers to develop long-term contingency plans to meet water demand in urban and regional communities."

The 2nd Queensland Agricultural Climate and Weather Services Forum has been organised by the Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology in conjunction with CSIRO, the Queensland Government Departments of Primary Industries and Fisheries and Natural Resources and Mines, Brisbane City Council, SunWater and the Managing Climate Variability program.

Representatives of the State Government, SunWater, the Brisbane City Council, the Queensland Farmers' Federation, AgForce Queensland, Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association, Canegrowers' Association and the farming community in general will attend the forum.

Similar forums have taken place around Australia over the past year aimed at strengthening the Commonwealth Bureau's links with State based agencies, Local government and, importantly, the agricultural community itself.

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's Office) 0423 577 045

Commonwealth of Australia