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Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers
for the Environment, Sport, Territories
and Local Government

Report Calls for More Met Services

6th March 1997

The Federal Government today released a report which concludes that there is considerable scope for the Bureau to increase its range of services by providing more of them on a cost recovery or commercial basis.

Senator Ian Macdonald, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Bureau of Meteorology, today released the report and called for public comment.

'Capturing Opportunities in the Provision of Meteorological Services' was commissioned by the Federal Government following a damning report of the previous Government's administration of the Bureau of Meteorology.

'The Review of the Operation of the Bureau of Meteorology' released in April last year revealed that the basic operations and services of the Bureau had suffered a significant deterioration under the last five years of the Labor Government.

The Federal Government committed an additional $4.6 million in the 1996/97 Budget to help restore an effective and efficient national weather service.

The new Report identifies a number of measures which would stimulate the provision of additional services. It also recommends that the Bureau's funding from Government should be placed on a three to five year basis.

The Report was prepared by Prof Ralph Slatyer AC FRS FAA FTSE, distinguished scholar in residence at the Australian National University and former Chief Scientist in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Report concludes that the existing organisation of the Bureau is appropriate for this expanded role and specifically recommends against corporatisation of the Bureau because of the public interest character of most of its activities.

The Report says that the challenge to the Bureau is to build a broader overall organisation which provides the community with a wide range of services which are of direct benefit to individuals, groups and organisations in a wide variety of occupations and industries.

Senator Macdonald said that the Government would consider public comments before any of the Report's recommendations were adopted.

Public comments should be forwarded by 30th April 1997 to the:

Office of Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

For further information, please contact:
Mark Elliot, Office of Senator Macdonald 06 277 3665 / 0419 238 747
Dr John Zillman, Director of Meteorology 03 9669 4558 / 0414 362 201
Prof Ralph Slatyer, AC 06 285 1728

Commonwealth of Australia