The Bureau of Meteorology has announced plans to centralise some activities out of Melbourne and Brisbane, but has rejected claims they are removing a local presence in WA.
“The Bureau of Meteorology is absolutely committed to increasing the positive impact of the services that it provides to the Australian community,” they said.
The bureau said a proposed new approach would enhance their services was being discussed with staff, customers and stakeholders.
“It would involve routine forecasting services moving to specialised hubs,” they said.
“It is expected that this would free up our locally-based meteorologists to develop more customised specialist expertise for the general public and emergency services during times of severe weather, and to better support the decisions being made by important sectors such as agriculture, water, energy, resources and defence.”
Nationals MLC for the Agricultural Region Colin de Grussa called on the bureau to reconsider plans to restrict local forecasting.
Mr de Grussa labelled the decision as ‘east-coast centric’ and said the move would be detrimental for many regional communities and farmers in WA who relied on accurate and timely weather information provided by the bureau.
“BOM has earned a stellar reputation amongst the agricultural community by providing reliable weather information, based on local knowledge of Western Australia’s unique landscapes and weather patterns,” he said.
“Farmers rely on this advice to make important day-to-day decisions on stock movements, harvesting schedules and the general running of the farm.
“Unfortunately this may be hampered if BOM pushes to centralise their operations to the Eastern States, leaving WA communities without precise and reliable local advice.”