Good forecast for city’s BOM staff
THE Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed it will not make redundant or relocate three forecasters in its Townsville office.
But five staff involved in observation operations will be offered relocation at the end of the automation program which is scheduled for completion in 2018- 19.
Those staff will be offered relocation at any of the bureau’s eight observations hubs being created in the seven capital cities plus Cairns.
A BOM spokeswoman said three forecasters employed at the office would continue to be based in Townsville and would not be required to relocate.
“The establishment and staffing of the Cairns hub will see a net increase of bureau staff in North Queensland,” the spokeswoman said.
The Bulletin reported on Saturday of uncertainties relating to the future employment of forecasters after the bureau refused to confirm whether they would be redeployed or made redundant when the office was fully automated in 2018- 19.
In an email to Townsville District Disaster Management Group members on Saturday in response to the Bulletin’s article, BOM Queensland state manager Bruce Gunn said: “Let me reassure that the ( bureau) plans to retain a presence of forecaster staff in our Townsville office for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Herbert MP Cathy O’Toole said she would write to Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg to express her concerns about staffing at Townsville’s BOM, and speak with the Shadow Ministry when she returns to Canberra this week.
Ms O’Toole said she would be “disgusted” and “concerned” if the city lost crucial weather personnel within two years, particularly on the back of the state’s north being hit by Cyclone Debbie.
“What the Government needs to have a look at is our history of cyclones and both the valuable and critical role the BOM staff have played,” she said.
The bureau made a commitment 18 months ago that Townsville would “remain unaffected” by changes associated with its 24 regional offices being “de- staffed”.