House debates

Monday, 22 October 2018

Statements by Members

Tasmania: Bureau of Meteorology

4:10 pm

Photo of Julie CollinsJulie Collins (Franklin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health) Share this | | Hansard source

It was my privilege to be able to speak to a rally of 150 or so locals about the Bureau of Meteorology's plan to remove local forecasting out of Tasmania. Locals remain very, very concerned about this plan—so concerned, we now have more than 2,600 signatures to our petition to stop local forecasting being moved out of Tasmania. Tasmanian concerns are: if this forecasting is done by computers in Melbourne, what happens when that system fails? Where are the locals? Over the long term, are we going to continue to train and have forecasters based in Hobart?

We are concerned, but it's not just Labor that is concerned. I've had approaches from local farmers, boats, marine, fishers; I have had them from bushwalkers, the local tourism industry, the local small aviation industry. Everybody in Tasmania is very concerned about this. But really concerning is that the firefighters union came out on Friday at the rally to say that even the volunteer fire brigade and the local firies are concerned about it. We had our police commissioner raise concerns. What we're concerned about is that we need locals, with local knowledge, who know Tasmania, who know the types of information we need in Tasmania, to remain local and stay so we have that expertise in our state. We do not want to see local forecasting lost to our state over the long term. This is critically important for Tasmania.