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MEDIA RELEASE – FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILS TO RULE OUT BoM CUTS TO THE NT

The Federal Government today failed to rule out job cuts to the Bureau of Meteorology in the Northern Territory.

Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling asked Minister for the Environment Melissa Price to rule out further federal public service cuts and to guarantee that there will be no loss of forecasting capability to the Bureau of Meteorology in the Northern Territory.

In her response, Minister Price said, “The Bureau was committed to maintaining its presence in all states and territories.”

“ ‘Maintaining a presence’ is not the same as ruling out job cuts,” Mr Gosling said.

“The Minister’s response stands in stark contrast to the Prime Minister’s explicit commitment to Tasmania that no staff will be cut from the Bureau of Meteorology [in Tasmania]”, said Mr Gosling.

“Since 2013, the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government has cut 39 per cent of the Federal Public Service in the Greater Darwin Area. So, forgive me for being a bit sceptical of the Minister’s claims. In addition to potential job losses, I remain concerned that on the eve of the cyclone season, the Government plans to move forecasting from the local Darwin Bureau of Meteorology office to other parts of the country,” said Mr Gosling.

Forecasters based in the Territory provide local expertise that Territorians depend and rely on. Shifting staff to other parts of the country will reduce the effectiveness of the Bureau of Meteorology in the Territory.

“I’m concerned that forecasts and warning quality will be reduced as a result of these proposed changes and put communities and a range of agricultural, commercial and activities like recreational fishing at increasing risk.”

THURSDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2018