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Thursday, 30 May 1996
Page: 1502

(Question No. 32)

Senator Colston asked the Minister for the Environment, upon notice, on 2 May 1996:

Did the Bureau of Meteorology produce a calendar for 1995 and for 1996; if so:

(1) Did the calendar for 1995 indicate that there were 31 days in November, with 31 November and 1 December both being listed as falling on a Friday.

(2) Were there any similar errors on the calendar for 1996.

(3) How many copies of the calendars were produced for each of the two years and what was the cost of production in each case.

(4) How many copies of the calendar were distributed free of charge for each of the two years.

(5) How many copies of the calendar were sold, and at what price, for each of the two years.

(6) If copies of the calendar were sold, what was the total net profit or loss on the production and sale of the calendars for each of the two years.

Senator Hill —The answer to the honourable senator's question is follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) No similar errors have been detected on the 1996 calendar.

(3) 23,000 copies were produced in 1995 at a cost of $148,000 and 23,000 copies of the 1996 Calendar were produced at an estimated cost of $158,000.

(4) Approximately 7,200 copies of each of the 1995 and 1996 Calendars were distributed to the Bureau's volunteer rainfall observers and cooperative observers around Australia, in recognition of their contribution to the national climate data base and in order to assist in their appreciation of the significance of their efforts in support of the public weather and warning services network. A further 3,000 copies each of the 1995 Calendar and 2,150 of the 1996 Calendars were distributed on a complimentary (in several cases exchanged) basis to overseas National Meteorological Services, Australian Heads of Missions overseas, Federal and State Environment Ministers, Parliamentary colleagues of the Minister (1995 only) and to agencies that the Bureau of Meteorology works closely with (e.g. State Emergency Services, Fire Authorities etc.) in the delivery of forecast and warning services to the community.

(5) Approximately 12,800 copies of the 1995 Calendar and 13,500 copies of the 1996 Calendar were made available for sale through the Public Relations Unit of the Bureau's Head Office in Melbourne and through its Regional and Field Offices in each State and the NT. These copies are offered to the public for $12 over the counter without cylinder, $13 over the counter with cylinder, or $15 if postage within Australia is required. Copies are sold to Bureau staff for $10 and a limited number (200) are sold to the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS), which makes an `in kind' contribution to production of the Calendar, for $6 each.

(6) The primary purpose of the Calendar is to promote greater understanding of the science of meteorology and to improve the effectiveness of community understanding and application of meteorological information and services. The price of the Calendar is set at a level which enables the Bureau to recover the costs of production and distribution.

The setting of the price of the Calendar is based on careful pre-estimates of the costs of staff time, printing and distribution. Some allowance is made for damaged stock and the return of unsold stock. In the past two years, damaged stock has been small and most of the available stock sold, resulting in a small profit. For the 1995 Calendar the profit was $7,599 and for the 1996 Calendar a profit of around $9,500 is estimated.