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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

13 May 2003

$31.2 Million Boost for Weather Forecasting


The Commonwealth Government has committed $31.2 million over the next four years in the 2003-04 Budget to upgrade the Bureau of Meteorology's weather forecasting services.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, said the funding would deliver a world-class forecasting service.

"With one of Australia's most severe droughts on record devastating agriculture and Australia's water supplies, accurately predicting the weather has become increasing critical," Dr Stone said.

"The $31.2 million will also ensure the maintenance of the national observation and monitoring networks which underpin the Bureau's vital weather, climate, hydrological and oceanographic services."

In particular, this $31.2 million will allow the Bureau to deliver:

"Australia is the oldest, driest continent on earth with hugely variable seasonal conditions. Compounding the difficulties of seasonal forecasting is the need to overlay and interpret new information derived from studies of human induced climate change," Dr Stone said.

"The improved weather forecasting services made possible with the funding injection will benefit all affected by weather and climate patterns who can then better plan and adjust and respond."

For more information see www.bom.gov.au.

Contact:
Anna Hughes (Dr Stone's office) 0408 697 055

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