Monday 17 June 2024

So how is agricultural production holding up in this new era of increased adverse weather disruptions to state & local supply


With the concepts of climate crisis and population resilience both becoming more frequently mentioned when discussing rural and regional Australia, perhaps a brief overview of aspects of the nation's agricultural inventory might be of interest as an indication of how the country is coping when it comes to food produce security.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Latest Release, 14 June 2024:

Australian Agriculture: Horticulture

Statistics on the production and value of a range of horticultural crops

Reference period

2022-23 financial year



First release

Key statistics

  • The local value of Australian fruit production (excluding wine grapes) was $6.3 billion in 2022-23 with 2.7 million tonnes sold in 2022-23

  • Local value of vegetable production was $5.8 billion with 3.6 million tonnes sold

  • Local value of cut flowers, nurseries and turf sold was $3.4 billion

  • Local value of nut production sold was $721.2 million

  • Local value of wine grapes was $983.1 million with 1.3 million tonnes crushed.


Key results for 2022-23 include:


  • The local value of Australian table grapes was $918.6 million, with 233,000 tonnes sold

  • Apples had a local value of $647.0 million with 285,200 tonnes sold

  • Bananas had a local value of $583.3 million with 374,300 tonnes sold.


  • Potatoes had a local value of $1.0 billion nationally with 1.5 million tonnes sold

  • Leafy salad vegetables had a local value of $736.5 million with 75,700 tonnes sold

  • Tomatoes had a local value of $570.6 million with 321,700 tonnes sold.


  • Almonds had a local value of $523.4 million with 103,400 tonnes sold

  • Macadamias had a local value of $104.0 million with 48,400 tonnes sold.


Macadamias experimental estimates

In 2022-23:

  • Australian production was 48,400 tonnes

  • Local value was $104 million

  • Total crop area was 40,800 hectares

  • The bearing area was 24,300 hectares.

In 2022-23, 60% of the national macadamia crop area was bearing. Queensland had the largest planting area 24,700 hectares, of which only 11,500 hectares (or 46%) was bearing. This reflects that there is a significant area of younger plantings in Queensland. New South Wales has the second largest planting area with 16,000 hectares of which 12,800 hectares (or 80%) was bearing.


In 2022-23, Queensland produced 70% (34,100 tonnes) of Australia’s macadamias followed by New South Wales with 29% (14,200 tonnes).

In 2022-23, Queensland macadamia production had a local value of $73 million, followed by New South Wales with a local value of $31 million.

NOTE: Value refers to local value which is the farm gate value that farmers receive for their products. This is lower than the gross value which includes transport and marketing costs.

Queensland's production is highly concentrated in the Bundaberg region. In 2022-23 the two largest Statistical Area 2 (SA2) regions were Bundaberg Surrounds (North and South), which accounted for 44% of national production sold. In New South Wales, Lismore Surrounds and the adjacent Ballina Surrounds were the largest producing SA2s, accounting for 21% of national production.


In the Northern Rivers region in 2022-23 macadamia produce by in-shell weight was:

Lismore Surrounds - 5,203 tonnes

Ballina Surrounds - 4,994 tonnes

Bangalow - 1,539 tonnes.

Lismore Surrounds came in at 3rd place in the Top Ten macadamia production areas of Australia, with Ballina Surrounds following at 4th place and Bangalow in 6th position.

Elsewhere BOM noted:

The value of livestock disposals declined one per cent to $23.3 billion in 2022-23. Cattle was the largest contributor at $13.9 billion, a drop of 2.4 per cent while poultry bucked the trend, increasing by 15.6 per cent to $3.6 billion.

At 30 June 2023 there were 29.9 million head of cattle, a 4 per cent increase on the previous year.

This is the largest cattle herd in the past five years as rainfall and favourable conditions supported farmers rebuilding their herds....

In 2023 the New South Wales cattle herd estimates stood at 6.14 million cattle. With beef cattle comprising 5.87 million head and dairy cattle 268,000 head.

According to ABS local value of all NSW cattle disposals was $3.11 billion in 2022-23.

Lower rainfall through the early stages of 2023 reduced producer confidence and may have affected livestock disposals generally.

ABS does not publish herd estimates at NSW regional or district level so it is not possible to compare Northern Rivers cattle numbers.

However, a University of Technology Sydney (UTS) June 2023 report did suggest the possibility that beef cattle dominate agricultural gross value product (GVP) in two of the seven local government areas - Clarence Valley & Kyogle. With beef cattle agricultural GVP being a significant factor in Richmond, Lismore & Tweed local governments areas. While dairy cattle agricultural GVP also contribute to the agricultural GVP mix in four of the local governments areas - Clarence Valley, Lismore & Byron.

Sunday 16 June 2024

Yamba Community Action Network Inc to give evidence at NSW parliamentary committee hearing re Planning System and the Impacts of Climate Change on the Environment and Communities, Monday 17 June 2024. Live link via NSW Parliament website

YambaCAN protest banner

News release, 13 June 2024:



The Portfolio Committee No. 7 – Planning and Environment has invited two representatives of Yamba CAN to give evidence at its next hearing for the inquiry into the planning system and the impacts of climate change on the environment and communities.

Date: Monday, 17 June 2024

Appearance time: 11.00 – 11.30 am

Location: Jubilee Room, NSW Parliament House

Yamba CAN welcomes the invitation and has replied to the Committee informing that our two representatives attending Parliament House shall be Lynne Cairns and Helen Tyas Tunggal.

Portfolio7 Committee hearings can be viewed live via the government’s website

To watch live, use this link .

Video recordings of previous hearings can be found on the NSW Parliament's YouTube channel here. [Portfolio Committee No. 7 - Planning and Environment: Planning system and the impacts of climate change on the environment and communities - YouTube]


Yamba Community Action Network Inc (Yamba CAN Inc)

Friday 14 June 2024

NACCered: a brief look at the immediate repercussions of the National Anti-Corruption Commission decision not to pursue Robodebt Royal Commission referrals but instead focus on ensuring lessons learnt


The public reaction to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) announced decision - to dismiss those referrals of corruption findings received from the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Schemewas immediate and an intense mix of emotions dominated by shock, disbelief, distress, worry and anger.

The tone and wording of NACC's media release was frequently viewed as insulting, arrogant and divorced from reality.

These are the reasons originally given by the NACC for not investigating those six person referred to it by the Royal Commission.....

National Anti-Corruption Commission decides not to pursue Robodebt Royal Commission referrals but focus on ensuring lessons learnt

Media Releases

Published: 6 Jun 2024

On 6 July 2023, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Commission) received referrals concerning six public officials from the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme (Robodebt Royal Commission) pursuant to section 6P(2B) of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth).

The Commission has carefully considered each referral and reviewed the extensive material provided by the Robodebt Royal Commission, including its final report, and the Confidential Chapter.

The Commission has become aware that five of the six public officials were also the subject of referrals to the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

The Commission is conscious of the impact of the Robodebt Scheme on individuals and the public, the seniority of the officials involved, and the need to ensure that any corruption issue is fully investigated.

However, the conduct of the six public officials in connection with the Robodebt Scheme has already been fully explored by the Robodebt Royal Commission and extensively discussed in its final report. After close consideration of the evidence that was available to the Royal Commission, the Commission has concluded that it is unlikely it would obtain significant new evidence.

In the absence of a real likelihood of a further investigation producing significant new evidence, it is undesirable for a number of reasons to conduct multiple investigations into the same matter. This includes the risk of inconsistent outcomes, and the oppression involved in subjecting individuals to repeated investigations.

In deciding whether to commence a corruption investigation, the Commission takes into account a range of factors. A significant consideration is whether a corruption investigation would add value in the public interest, and that is particularly relevant where there are or have been other investigations into the same matter. There is not value in duplicating work that has been or is being done by others, in this case with the investigatory powers of the Royal Commission, and the remedial powers of the APSC.

Beyond considering whether the conduct in question amounted to corrupt conduct within the meaning of the Act and, if satisfied, making such a finding, the Commission cannot grant a remedy or impose a sanction (as the APSC can). Nor could it make any recommendation that could not have been made by the Robodebt Royal Commission. An investigation by the Commission would not provide any individual remedy or redress for the recipients of government payments or their families who suffered due to the Robodebt Scheme.

The Commission has therefore decided not to commence a corruption investigation as it would not add value in the public interest. However, the Commission considers that the outcomes of the Robodebt Royal Commission contain lessons of great importance for enhancing integrity in the Commonwealth public sector and the accountability of public officials. The Commission will continue through its investigation, inquiry, and corruption prevention and education functions, to address the integrity issues raised in the final report, particularly in relation to ethical decision making, to ensure that those lessons are learnt, and to hold public officials to account.

In order to avoid any possible perception of a conflict of interest, the Commissioner delegated the decision in this matter to a Deputy Commissioner.

The Commission will not be making further comment.

A brief look at the response to that decision on social media platform X more familiarly known as Twitter....









An example of media reporting of the developing situation, as reported by Crikey on Thursday 13 June 2024:

A NACC that ignores robodebt is no NACC at all

It took the federal anti-corruption watchdog a year to decide to do nothing on robodebt, and a few hours to realise it faced a public relations disaster. What it had failed to see was that its inaction would outrage more than just the direct victims of the Coalition’s illegal scheme, writes Michael Bradley. It would outrage any Australian fed up with a political system we no longer have any trust in.

Another example of mainstream media's account of NACC's response including a statement by the Inspector of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, as reported by ABC News on 13 June 2024:

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will be asked to explain why it refused to launch a fresh probe into the Robodebt scandal, after the watchdog's watchdog received nearly 900 complaints about the decision.

The Inspector of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, tasked with overseeing the agency's operations and conduct, has announced it will start its own inquiry into the matter.......

Inspector Gail Furness SC said her office had received nearly 900 complaints after the NACC made its ruling.

"Many of those complaints allege corrupt conduct or maladministration by the NACC in making that decision," she said in a statement.

"I also note that there has also been much public commentary.

"Accordingly, I have decided to inquire into that decision. I anticipate that I will make my findings public in due course."....


Inspector of the National Anti-Corruption Commission website as at 13 June 2024:

Roleof the Inspector

The Inspector’s role is to:

  • detect corrupt conduct in the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)

  • undertake preliminary investigations into NACC corruption issues

  • undertake investigations into NACC corruption issues that could involve corrupt conduct that is serious or systemic. ‘Serious or systemic’ means something that is significant, something more than negligible or trivial but it does not have to be severe or grave. Systemic means something that is more than an isolated case, it involves a pattern of behaviour or something that affects or is embedded in a system

  • refer NACC corruption issues to the NACC, Commonwealth agencies and State or Territory government entities

  • investigate complaints of maladministration or officer misconduct by the NACC or a staff member of the NACC. The Inspector cannot deal with complaints about any other agency or its staff provide relevant information and documents to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the NACC 

  • receive public interest disclosures under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013

  • audit the NACC to monitor compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth

  • report to Parliament on the outcomes of the Inspector’s activities.

Thursday 13 June 2024

As the gentle giants pass by......

Twice a year the ocean off the NSW Coast becomes a busy highway.

Between May and July these gentle giants can be seen heading north towards their sub-tropical breeding grounds and then between September and November they pass along coastal waters heading south back to Antarctica. 

Here are some scenes of the northern migration in 2023 and 2024 as the whales make their way through the waters off northern New South Wales.


Video by  Joe Young


Via @OzEcology

 Video byByron-Jindabyne

Video by Alex McNaught

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Less than twelve months out from the next federal election and Peter Dutton's 'when I am prime minister' promises are beginning to mount

IMAGE: The Guardian 11.06.24
Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
It would appear that Leader of the Opposition & Liberal MP for Dickson, Peter Dutton(left), has decided that his style of leadership less than twelve months out from the next federal general election is to commence a sustained presidential-style campaign to win back government.

The 'when I am prime minister' comments and promises have increased recently.

To add context and keep track of what Dutton has been promising since becoming opposition leader, here is a list of promises made so far. Not all of which have stood the test of time.

Dutton’s super promise

The Mercury, 2 March 2023:

The Opposition Leader said the Coalition would not support the changes given Labor had declared it would not tinker with superannuation during the election campaign. “We’re dead against it, and we will repeal it. We’re not going to stand by and watch Australians attacked,” Mr Dutton said. Treasurer Jim Chalmers defended the changes on Wednesday morning, arguing while there would be some “political cost” to the move, overall it was a “modest” reform.

Dutton promises improved facilities for female sports participants during shire visit

St. George and Sutherland Shire Leader, 18 August 2023:

Mr Dutton, accompanied by the MP for Hughes and shadow sports minister, made an early election promise that a Coalition government would help sporting clubs improve facilities to help increase female participation.

He said $250 million would be provided over four years for community sporting infrastructure across the country.

Dutton promises another vote if Indigenous Voice fails

Brisbane Times, 2 September 2023:

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has promised to hold a referendum on constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians if the Voice is defeated at the ballot box next month, and he wins power at the next election.

Setting out some of his alternatives to a Voice that is written into the Constitution, the opposition leader said he supported “regional voices” and the recognition of First Australians.

Cook returns fire over Dutton defund pledge

The Australian, 31 January 2024:

The federal Opposition Leader on Tuesday used an address to the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy to promise to withdraw financial support for the EDO [Environmental Defenders Office]...

Dutton railroads PM in byelection: Campaign on Track

Sydney Morning Herald, 02 Feb 2024:

Dutton will travel to Melbourne's bayside today to pledge $900 million towards extending Melbourne's rail network to the booming suburbs south of the electorate.

The electrification of the Frankston-Baxter line, along which a diesel V/line service runs, would include new stations at Langwarrin and Frankston East, both of which sit within Dunkley.

Dutton promises more tax cuts under Coalition

The Sydney Morning Herald, 07 February 2024:

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton emerged from a Coalition party room meeting yesterday to admit he could not block the Labor tax cuts and would not roll them back if he won power, but he vowed to add to them with further measures announced before the election.

Dutton: 'I'll wind back regulation'

The Australian Financial Review, 3 April 2024:

Peter Dutton will promise business leaders cheaper energy prices and less government interference under the Coalition, pledging to stay out of the way of employment and profit growth through a simplified industrial relations system...

Invoking the vision of Liberal Party founder Robert Menzies in an address to the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, Mr Dutton will pledge to better represent workers and business operators if the Coalition wins the next election, delivering a "back-to-basics economic agenda"....

A year out from the next election, Mr Dutton will to call for sustainable wage growth delivered through productivity enhancements....

He will tell attendees the Coalition is developing plans for a dramatic ramp-up in domestic gas production and will present policies for deployment of nuclear power technologies.

Campbell: Dutton’s migration promises a year too late to seize political initiative

The Daily Telegraph (Online),19 May 2024:

On Thursday night, in his budget-in-reply, speech Peter Dutton finally grabbed the political opportunity this represents by promising to cut permanent migration for two years from 185,000 to 140,000 – or by 25 per cent – and to work with universities to set a cap on foreign students.

He will also ban foreign investors and temporary residents from buying existing homes in Australia.

I’ll kick out any foreigner who commits serious crime: Dutton

The Australian, 7 June 2024:

Peter Dutton says no non-citizen who commits a dangerous crime in Australia should be allowed to stay in the country as a matter of principle, arguing they should be deported “immediately”

Dutton vows to ‘make Victoria great again’

Herald Sun, 8 June 2024:

Peter Dutton wants Victoria to return to its “manufacturing powerhouse” glory days — and he says with his strong economic leadership skills, he can get us there.

Dutton to pull Australia out of Paris Agreement if elected

The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 June 2024:

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has signalled he will scrap the nation’s legally binding 2030 climate target and risk Australia’s membership of the Paris Agreement on climate change, following his vow to deploy nuclear energy to reach net zero by 2050.

Dutton declared on Saturday that a Coalition government would not pursue Australia’s legally binding climate target to cut emissions by 43 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

To be continued.....

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Is The Bureau of Meteorology Marching Australia Into Even More Danger As Climate Change Risks Increase?


No-one who lived through the catastrophic combination of weather systems which flooded est. 600 kilometres of Australia’s east coast in 2022 would be in doubt that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) was failing in its primary function.

Particularly here in the NSW Northern Rivers region, where the erratic & contradictory forecasting by BOM during the eight days of 23 February to 2 March 2022 saw at least four people drown in preventable deaths.

Months after that record-breaking flood event ABC News reported on the findings of a NSW parliamentary inquiry:

information from the State Emergency Service (SES) and Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) was "incorrect and out of date", leaving the community with "no other option but to ignore government advice and save lives"....It urged the weather bureau to review its rain data infrastructure and flood modelling tools.

However, the worry began for me long before that, when in 2016 I read this:

Dr Johnson has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) and PhD from the University of Queensland and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he was a Rotary Foundation Scholar. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technical Sciences and Engineering and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

And realised there was no indepth formal meteorological training in his background.

Worries about BOM under Dr.Johnson have been bubbling to the surface in the media since his installation as Director and this below is only the latest.....

"I'm told a nationwide data centre outage on Friday affected observations ~across the entire country~ Missing min and max temps, wind speeds for Friday and Sat at every single obs. station with the exception of the airports which are not yet auto" [Rick Morton

@SquigglyRick, 10 June 2024]

The Saturday Paper, June 8 – 14, 2024 | No. 503:

Inside the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast failings

As the Bureau of Meteorology pulls back on its international obligations, increasing automation and a lack of experienced staff has made forecasts less reliable.

By Rick Morton

Bureau of Meteorology chief executive Dr Andrew Johnson turned up to Senate estimates last month without his right-hand man, Peter Stone, many of the bureau’s other executives and, apparently, his briefing notes.

Johnson, who is also the director of meteorology, appointed to the now $533,000 a year job in 2016 by former environment minister Josh Frydenberg, claimed not to be able to answer basic questions about BoM processes. At one stage, he even attempted to prevent his chief operating officer from speaking.

So, you have no familiarity? Don’t you come prepared for Senate estimates?” Liberal Senator Jonathon Duniam said after asking basic questions alongside Greens Senator Barbara Pocock about how the BoM handles cost overruns and contract delivery delays.

I am shocked at the lack of capacity to answer questions of that nature even in a general sense. This is astounding.”

It was less astounding to senior Bureau of Meteorology staff who have watched a $1 billion-plus technology transformation project at the agency, called ROBUST, slide off the rails over several years. And less surprising still to the meteorologists at the forecaster, who have witnessed a centralisation of the BoM’s remaining qualified staff to a “national production” model based in Melbourne and Brisbane while being told not to change automatic local forecasts they know to be wrong.

The philosophy was ‘near enough is good enough’,” a former meteorologist says.

When the director would come around spruiking the centralisation, that was the actual quote. You know, if you’re saying it’s going to be wet and it’s super wet, that’s not life-threatening. He wants to focus on ‘high-impact events’ but they are not going to be a problem because they’ve got specialised teams.

But, for a farmer, five millimetres [of rain] as opposed to 20 millimetres is a massive big deal.”

The noticeable slip in forecast quality, especially where meteorologists have been prevented by resourcing constraints or internal policy from correcting known errors in the automatic model outputs, was first confirmed by The Saturday Paper and stems in part from a broader cultural shift at the Bureau of Meteorology. According to sources, this shift has seen a massive restructure of talent and the removal of internal voices of dissent.

You can warn them about quality but they will straight up tell you black is white and then move on, expecting you to get with the program,” one forecaster says. “And then they wonder why the wheels are falling off.”

Since Johnson came to the role eight years ago, eight members of the small executive team who report directly to him have left. The turnover in management ranks below has been much greater.

Meanwhile, forecasters – including those who work on floods or bushfires in addition to the meteorologists – have increased by just five positions. The work required of these highly qualified people, however, has become more demanding and more complex.

Poor planning and management practices at the weather agency have exacerbated resource constraints. Like the weather they forecast, these issues operate in a tightly interconnected system of feedback loops.

Take the now abandoned plan to move the national forecast grid to a three-kilometre resolution. After years of effort, the project was deemed “too hard” and shelved in late 2021, returning the nation to a six-kilometre grid in every state and territory, including Victoria and Tasmania, which were already successfully running at the sharper resolution.

At the same time, however, a new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) was already in development with prototypes tested by the BoM and the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. The royal commission into the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires recommended it be fast-tracked.

Among other features, this new system was designed on a three-kilometre grid. The race to have it launched suffered as “all Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) development resources” were dedicated to making the grid change happen, pushing back delivery timelines on the new fire-warning system.

At the other end of delivery, new delays were added. Aborting the three-kilometre grid project resulted in the need to translate BoM’s six-kilometre resolution data to the fire grid via additional “workarounds” from forecasters.

Testing of the AFDRS has now also been compromised by a six-year delay in upgrades to the Bureau of Meteorology supercomputer, Australis II.

The attitude there now seems to be ‘what’s in it for us?’ despite the fact the BoM is a big player in the Pacific region with climate change and tropical cyclones.”

Last month, BoM researchers led by Paul Gregory and Naomi Benger released a report analysing the seasonal outlooks produced as part of the new rating system.

Currently the outlooks cannot be verified in realtime as there are no sources of gridded, realtime, AFDRS observations,” the paper says.

This lack of realtime observations also prevents the Bureau from providing any post-event analysis using AFDRS. This service gap can be filled by integrating the AFDRS computational modules into the Bureau’s National Analysis System (NAS), and the realtime BARRA-2 reanalysis system.

Both of these systems are currently in trial and are awaiting the upgrading of the Bureau’s supercomputer (Australis II) for deployment.”......

Forecasters who spoke to The Saturday Paper, on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals, have attributed at least some of their deep unhappiness at the BoM to the management culture.

One persistent issue is the decision to launch the massive Public Services Transformation project alongside the ROBUST technology investment. While the former might have had some appeal from an efficiency point of view, the parallel nature of the two vast projects created substantial backlogs and catastrophic delays.

To be honest, we have never recovered from either program,” another employee says.

We have just been crunched. And at the same time, the country has faced some of its worst ever flood and fire events one after another. I feel like the accountability has gone out the window.”

ROBUST was in part inspired by a cybersecurity incident, and its funding, provided by the former Coalition government, was labelled “cabinet in confidence” and has never been officially revealed.

At Senate estimates late last month, Andrew Johnson told the parliament his executives were accountable to him but that he did not have a performance agreement personally.

My performance agreement in a sense is the corporate plan that I table to the minister and which is tabled to the parliament, but I personally don’t have a performance agreement, and I’ve not had one since I commenced in 2016,” he said.

Under Johnson’s leadership, the Bureau of Meteorology has stopped meeting all of its World Meteorological Organization obligations, cutting back substantially on the frequency of upper atmosphere soundings.

Content now removed from the BoM website states the “benefits” in data sharing under the World Meteorological Organization are “substantial but also impose a responsibility for Australia to also contribute to the international system”.

As one meteorologist told The Saturday Paper: “The attitude there now seems to be ‘what’s in it for us?’ despite the fact the BoM is a big player in the Pacific region with climate change and tropical cyclones.”

Domestically, quality suffers in subtle but important ways. Overnight shifts on the national production desk can shrink to four people who are responsible for an entire country’s forecasting. Almost all of this is model output, but changes still need to be made and there are only so many available to perform the work.

Now even the capital city airports – a fiercely protected domain by aviation forecasters at the BoM – are subject to automation with a $3.3 million, one-year contract issued by the weather agency in the middle of May.

Last weekend, in Perth, the BoM’s Saturday night forecasts were accurate but the Sunday forecast predicted “armageddon” – despite the fact the weather had all but cleared.

And the issue that comes out early in the morning, that’s the four o’clock issue, it’s done from Melbourne,” a meteorologist says. “The forecasters come in at 6am and then have to look at what mess they’d been left with, basically, and try and make sense of it.”

Early Sunday morning, the BoM was still predicting 25 to 50 millimetres of rain in Perth, with thunderstorms that were possibly severe.

It had all gone overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning,” the forecaster says.

So by eight o’clock Sunday, you were left with a few residual showers before the forecast got changed at nine o’clock, and reflected what it should have been. They had the rainfall totals down to about seven millimetres, but the app continued to show 20 to 50 millimetres.”

Such an approach to forecasting nationally is not without consequences. Farmers in the Western Australian wheat belt were furious. Organisers of a WA Day celebration event in Burswood cancelled the festival in advance, based on forecasts that showed “even heavier rainfall” throughout the long weekend.....

The Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement that Peter Stone, who earlier this year was found by a Federal Circuit Court judge to have engaged in a deliberate attempt to mislead the court regarding a BoM workplace case, was sick during the week of Senate estimates.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on June 8, 2024 as "Inside the BoM’s forecast failings".

Read the full article at: