The Australian Government has announced a new AU$209m (US$162m) Australian Climate Service that will support better and faster decision making to ensure communities, infrastructure, and businesses are safe, secure and resilient in the face of natural hazards.
The new service will bring together expertise from the Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau), Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It will support communities and businesses to better anticipate, manage and adapt to the risks that a changing climate will bring.
The Australian Climate Service will initially focus on supporting Emergency Management Australia and the Government’s new National Recovery and Resilience Agency.
The Bureau’s CEO and director of Meteorology, Dr Andrew Johnson, said, “The new Australian Climate Service will help Australians better prepare for natural disasters well before they occur, by not just looking days ahead but years and decades. It will also enhance the Australian Government’s response during times of extreme weather, letting the community know much earlier what is coming, what’s in its way, how it will be affected and the consequences of that for businesses and households.”
The service, which will formally commence operating on July 1, 2021, will inform emergency management preparedness, response, recovery and reconstruction activities for bushfire, flood, heatwave, tropical cyclones, severe weather (such as thunder and hailstorms), large-scale smoke events, earthquake and tsunami.
Geoscience Australia CEO Dr James Johnson added, “This new capability will enable enhanced decision making for Emergency Management Australia and the new National Recovery and Resilience Agency. The Australian Climate Service will generate new information and insights that are required to understand future climate and natural hazard threats and ensure better decisions are being made on things like how to build and where.”