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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone, MP

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

22 June 2004

SS04/045

Tasmanian forum to focus on weathering information Tasmanian industry, especially agriculture and fisheries is weather dependent. A special seminar for these industries aimed at the provision of relevant, accurate and timely climate and weather information will be held at New Town in Hobart on 23 June.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said a major focus of the Tasmanian Primary Industries: Climate and Weather Workshop is to ensure there is a seamless flow of information and co-operation between the Commonwealth Bureau and State based agencies.

"How to deliver ever faster and more accurate information on Tasmania's climate and weather matters will be the focus of this forum," Dr Stone said.

"Somewhere between 300 and 400 million hits on the Bureau's website each month are proof that the Australian public are determined to be forewarned and forearmed when it comes to weather.

"But it is not enough to have brilliant information that is accurate and timely if some consumers have difficulty finding it or interpreting its meaning or if the information does not meet their needs.

"Close consultation with industry will help to ensure this information is properly targeted."

The forum is organised by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in conjunction with the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.

"Climate change has created a new factor in weather behaviour. For example, higher temperatures could affect evaporation rates or increase cloud cover and could prove a challenge to primary producers and the daily decisions they must make about their business," Dr Stone said.

The Hobart forum is one of five seminars held across Australia since February this year. Representatives of the Bureau, State Government, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Tasmanian Apple & Pear Growers Association and the Tasmanian Stonefruit Association have been invited to attend the forum.

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