Cloud hangs over BoM staff
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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“The Bureau of Meteorology remains on schedule to automate observations at the Townsville field station in 2018- 19.
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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.”
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