The Bureau of Meteorology today opened its new-look Hobart Office, which houses the meteorologists, hydrologists, climatologists and communications specialists who provide services for Tasmania, as well as support for Australia’s interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

As part of the Bureau’s longstanding commitment to the Tasmanian community, the upgraded Macquarie Street facility represents part of almost $3 million in new Australian Government investment in Bureau of Meteorology in Tasmania, together with the Bureau’s new Observing Operations Hub in the suburb of Moonah which was commissioned in January.

Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley, noted the importance of the facility for Tasmania, as well as recognising the state’s role as the ‘gateway to Antarctica’.

“It’s from here that nearly 50 Bureau staff support Australia’s national interests in Antarctica, as well as providing forecasts and warnings for the Tasmanian community and its industries,” Minister Ley said.

“The Bureau’s services for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are essential for safe and efficient air and ship operations, as well as supporting maritime safety, search and rescue, border protection and fisheries.

“Monitoring the atmosphere, ice and oceans around Antarctica is also vital for ensuring high quality weather forecasts and climate outlooks for the whole of Australia.”

While formally opening the facility today, Assistant Minister for Industry Development Jonno Duniam said the new facility was strong evidence of the Australian Government’s commitment to the safety of Tasmania.

“Tasmania is uniquely exposed to the wild weather that comes in from the Southern Ocean and there’s no question that the Bureau provides essential services that help keep Tasmanians safe,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“The Bureau’s Tasmanian-based specialists provide forecasts and warnings for farmers, firefighters, fishers, energy generators, and – in fact anyone who uses weather information in their day-to-day lives.

“This is a truly modern facility equipped to help the Bureau strengthen its services and support its scientists and technical staff, and that’s something we all benefit from.”

The new offices feature designs from local architects, including the use of Tasmanian Oak into working spaces, and meeting rooms are named in palawa kani with guidance from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in recognition of their custodianship and connection to the land.