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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8502

Mr HART (Bass) (16:16): Under this dysfunctional Liberal government, critical jobs at the Bureau of Meteorology in Tasmania are in danger of being cut, supposedly in the name of offering a greater level of service. This is despite statements made by Liberal senators that this government would deliver more federal Public Service jobs for Tasmania. Now, true to their bad form, Tasmania is in fact to lose jobs. Staff at the Bureau of Meteorology are concerned that their jobs are on the chopping block. These are Tasmanian jobs that deliver critical services to the Tasmanian community—critical services that are very highly valued.

The local knowledge with which our weather forecast is delivered to our local community every day cannot be replicated simply by automated weather sensors operated remotely from Brisbane or Melbourne. I certainly believe services can be enhanced by technology, but not replaced. Our weather forecasters have been critical during extreme weather events, such as the bushfires that we experienced in Dunalley and floods in Northern Tasmania, Latrobe and Launceston. Without these local forecasts, many lives would have been lost at sea, in the air or in the Central Highlands. This is not just about more federal Public Service job losses in Tasmania; it's about providing the critical services Tasmanians need to keep them safe. All Tasmanians need to fight to retain these essential services that are underpinned by local knowledge and experience in Tasmania.