The Bureau of Meteorology touches every facet of Australian life, from severe weather warnings that alert individuals and communities to protect themselves and their property, to forecasts that support emergency services, and marine and ocean services that help keep people safe on the water.
Today on World Meteorological Day, I thank the Bureau for the critical work it does for Australia – for which it is held in high regard internationally.
The Bureau's aviation and defence forecasts facilitate safe air travel and support our defence operations in Australia and overseas.
Industry sectors as wide-ranging as agriculture, tourism, retail, construction, insurance and power and water utilities rely on the Bureau's services every day.
The Australian Government is equipping the Bureau for a future in which meteorological information and intelligence is becoming increasingly important.
We are investing in a supercomputer which has 16 times the capacity of the computer it will replace in mid-2016.
The new supercomputer will allow the Bureau to issue forecasts and warnings more regularly and precisely, particularly before and during severe weather events such as thunderstorms, fires, floods and tropical cyclones.
Since September last year, the Bureau has made available to the public near real-time imagery from the Japanese Himawari-8 satellite.
Before it had access to this satellite, the Bureau received a satellite image once every hour; now it receives a detailed scan of the globe every 10 minutes.
The data from Himawari-8, combined with the power of the supercomputer, will allow the Bureau to continue improving its forecasting.
We all benefit from the work the Bureau of Meteorology undertakes everyday, and its importance will only continue to grow greater over time.