House debates

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Questions without Notice

Northern Territory: Bureau of Meteorology

2:53 pm

Photo of Luke GoslingLuke Gosling (Solomon, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for the Environment. The government has cut 39 per cent of the Public Service in greater Darwin. Now, on the eve of cyclone season, the government plans to move forecasting from our local Bureau of Meteorology office to other parts of the country. Will the minister rule out further federal Public Service cuts in the NT and will she guarantee that there will be no loss of forecasting capability to the Bureau of Meteorology in the Northern Territory?

2:54 pm

Photo of Melissa PriceMelissa Price (Durack, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question. It's so lovely to talk about another part of my very large, important portfolio.

Any suggestions that the Bureau of Meteorology is reducing its commitment to any state or territory are absolutely false. The bureau has reassured the Australian community on numerous occasions over the last month that it is committed to maintaining its presence in all states and territories. The claims made by the Community and Public Sector Union that the bureau is cutting services are completely false.

Advances in technology mean that the bureau's routine forecasting can largely be done from a few specialised locations and with fewer resources. But this will allow the bureau to increase the capacity of its state and territory staff to work on more important services, like spending more money working with emergency services on the ground during cyclones and bushfires, which I'm sure the member for Solomon would welcome.