Cloud hangs over BoM staff

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY

THE BU­REAU of Me­te­o­rol­ogy has re­fused to con­firm whether Townsville weather fore­cast­ers will be re­de­ployed or made re­dun­dant when the of­fice is fully au­to­mated within the next two years.

The news has an­gered Mayor Jenny Hill who claims a large part of the city may have been evac­u­ated dur­ing Cyc- lone Deb­bie, if not for the ad­vice of BoM staff on the ground in Townsville.

BoM con­firmed to The Bul­letin in Fe­bru­ary last year Townsville would “re­main un­af­fected” by changes as­so­ci­ated with its 24 re­gional of­fices be­ing “de- staffed”.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment depart­ment con­firmed this week it had eight op­er­a­tional staff cur­rently em­ployed in Townsville, in­clud­ing the three fore­cast­ers, with one tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer tak­ing a re­dun­dancy in June last year.

A BoM spokes­woman said there were no changes to the Townsville op­er­a­tion ex­pected over the next 12 months but con­firmed some work would shift to Cairns.

“Non- fore­caster staff may elect to re­lo­cate to other Bu­reau of­fices ahead of full auto- IT is a song syn­ony­mous with Aus­tralian cul­ture and one heard around ev­ery camp­fire since it was penned in 1895.

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In this clas­sic story, read­ers are treated to not only the swag­man’s anec­dotes and tales, but we learn of the shear­ers’ strikes of the time and what life was like in the Aussie out­back dur­ing the 19th cen­tury.

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Waltz­ing Matilda is the 14th book in the Townsville Bul­letin ma­tion of ob­ser­va­tion func­tions,” she said,

“The Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy re­mains on sched­ule to au­to­mate ob­ser­va­tions at the Townsville field sta­tion in 2018- 19.

“The Cairns Ob­serv­ing Op­er­a­tions Hub will ac­com­mo­date a di­ver­si­fied group of tech­ni­cal staff who will ser­vice and main­tain all ob­ser­va­tions equip­ment lo­cated in North Great A Aus­traliant li Sto­ry­book Col­lec­tion, with the fi­nal book, Wom­bat Stew, avail­able to­mor­row with The Sun­day Mail.

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TO­MOR­ROW TO­MOR­ROW WITH THE SUN­DAY MAIL

Queens­land Townsville).”

The Bul­letin sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion as to what would hap­pen to Townsville staff who did not wish to re­lo­cate when the of­fice be­comes fully au­to­mated or if any would still be re­quired.

“Dis­cus­sions with in­di­vid­ual staff are con­fi­den­tial and on­go­ing,” the BoM spokes­woman said. ( in­clud­ing Bul­letin

“It is too early to spec­u­late about fu­ture staff move­ments.”

Cr Hill slammed the plans to go fully au­to­mated and re­de­ploy or make staff re­dun­dant as “ut­terly ridicu­lous”.

“I can­not be­lieve they would be so stupid as to not have staff here in one of the ma­jor cities at risk of cy­clones,” she said. “The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment needs to step in and stop this de­ci­sion.”

Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

GREAT STORY: Annabelle Waldss­chmied, 4, en­joysj y read­ing Waltz­ing Matilda. Missed a book? Look out for bonus to­kens in the next week

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