A RED flag about what changes within the Bureau of Meteorology could mean for the state’s primary production sector has been raised by Opposition agriculture spokesperson Eddie Hughes.
It involves a proposal that routine forecasting services undertaken by the BoM be moved to specialised hubs located in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Mr Hughes said if public weather forecasting was no longer undertaken from SA, this would have an impact on 22 local meteorologists who are experienced forecasters, as well as the agriculture sector.
He said the issue arose after union representatives for BoM staff got in contact with Labor.
“If these 22 positions are lost, there will be an enormous loss of local knowledge and expertise,” he said.
“Without a team of meteorologists who know the local region and can react quickly, there will be less frost warning issued, as well as significantly less fire weather warning days.”
But in a statement, the Bureau of Meteorology said any claims that changes being considering would reduce the quality of services were misinformed.
“Any suggestions the bureau is reducing its commitment to any state or territory are absolutely false,” it said.
“A strong focus on the needs of everyday Australians, emergency services and industries is at the heart of proposed improvements to the bureau's services.
“These changes would mean our staff based in each state and territory will have more time to work shoulder-to-shoulder with emergency services, providing first responders with specialised weather information during emergency situations.
“Local staff would also be freed-up to provide tailored information to farmers, the broader agricultural sector – in fact anyone who relies on our weather and climate expertise.
“These improvements are possible thanks to the bureau's significant investment in advanced technology such as the supercomputer and climate prediction models.”