The Australian government has opened the first purpose-built Observing Operations Hub in Hobart, Tasmania, which is designed to monitor the extreme weather experienced across Tasmania and Antarctica.
According to the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, the Operations Hub will house highly skilled technical staff to fully service the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) observing network, including radars and automatic weather stations, as well as equipment that is vital to the BoM’s work in Antarctica.
“This state-of-the-art facility will also provide storage for crucial meteorological hardware as well as a fully equipped, high-tech workshop and spare parts for the Bureau’s extensive weather and climate monitoring network,” Ley said.
“Among the impressive hardware is a brand-new wave buoy, which will soon be deployed off Maria Island on Tasmania’s southeast coast, providing observations of wave height and direction which are critical for marine industries such as shipping, fisheries and offshore operations and for the general public when boating, surfing and swimming.
“The Bureau’s meteorologists and experts will use the hub and its technology to provide forecasts and warnings for farmers, fishers, energy providers and those who use weather information in their day-to-day lives.
“And most importantly, this new hub, one of just eight across the country, will ensure we have the right staff on the ground to service [the] Bureau’s infrastructure across the region which is so vital to businesses and the Tasmanian economy.”
Assistant Minister for Industry Development Jonno Duniam said the Bureau’s forecasts and warnings were essential for Tasmania’s farmers and fishers: “Tasmania is often at the mercy of extreme weather events and our industry, particularly our hardworking fishers, are reliant on the timely and consistent weather information provided by the BoM for their safety and for the successful day-to-day operation of their businesses.
“This is a significant investment in the communities and the economy of Tasmania, and as the gateway to Antarctica, this Hub is now home to highly skilled technical staff who will fully service the equipment that is essential to the Bureau’s work in Antarctica,” Duniam continued.
Senator for Tasmania Eric Abetz said Tasmania is uniquely exposed to the wild weather that comes in from the Southern Ocean. He added, “Key to the Bureau’s work with Tasmanian industries and emergency services is in making sure its observations network is kept in good working order.
“It is wonderful to see that Tasmania now has its own hub that will allow for timely and efficient support and maintenance of the infrastructure that monitors meteorological conditions that are experienced in the southern hemisphere.”