Government strengthens focus on the impact of changing climate

Agencies to help Australians cope with severe weather events.

A new Federal Government agency to help Australians better deal with extreme weather events will be boosted by the addition of Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) staff in north Queensland.

The National Recovery and Resilience Agency was launched in May to support communities when responding to major natural disasters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the agency would play a role in keeping people safe from the impact of extreme weather events.

“The new agency will help communities rebuild and recover from natural disasters, helping many Australians in their greatest time of need, while strengthening our defences against future major disasters,” Mr Morrison said.

Six new BoM jobs will be created in Townsville to support the weather and climate knowledge needs of the new agency and Emergency Management Australia.

These agencies will be supported by the expertise of the newly announced Australian Climate Service (ACS).

The ACS will start operating in July and is a partnership between the BoM, CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the new staff would also draw on the bureau's Brisbane-based forecasters to provide support to Emergency Management Australia, local disaster management groups and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services during times of emergency.

“Before and after emergencies, the new staff will assist the National Recovery and Resilience Agency to build local preparedness and recovery capacity,” Ms Ley said.

“This builds on the bureau’s North Queensland capability, with Cairns already the centre for a more than 15-person specialist technical hub.”

BoM Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Johnson said the weather service was committed to supporting Queensland communities.

"We know that while our climate is highly variable now, that variability is likely to increase into the future,” Mr Johnson said.

“We cannot stop disasters from happening, but preparation is the key to keeping our communities safer in the future.

"We know that there are always opportunities to better support communities during times of emergency.

“We also know that with better science and data we can better target our recovery and reconstruction activities to help families and businesses get up and going again faster."

Visit RACQ’s weather hub to learn more about coping with extreme weather events