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Government splashes $209 million on new Australian Climate Service

Anthony Sharwood, Wednesday May 5, 2021 - 12:51 EST

The Federal Government has announced that it will dedicate $209 million towards a new body called the Australian Climate Service, which will help businesses, individuals and communities manage natural hazards like bushfires and floods.

This is a big deal.

We know that events like the Black Summer of 2019/20 are becoming more likely in a warming climate, and we know that many types of extreme weather are more likely with climate change.

We also know that there has been no over-arching body generating insights related to future climate and natural hazard threats, to ensure better decision-making on things like how and where to build.

But now there is.

Image: We can't stop scenes like this from ever happening again. But we can try to minimise them. Source: Pixabay.

The Australian Climate Service (ACS) will be a collaboration between the BoM, Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics - a quartet the government bills as "Australia's leading knowledge agencies".

The ACS will work alongside the new National Recovery and Resilience Agency (NRRA) - also announced overnight - which will provide direct support to communities in the aftermath of natural disasters, and advise government on ways to mitigate their impact.

So Australia has two new bodies helping us deal with natural disasters:

  • One, the NRRA, will help people affected by the increasingly frequent and damging natural hazards recover.
  • The second, the ACS, will help generate info to minimise the risks of hazard events.

"The new Australian Climate Service will help Australians better prepare for natural disasters well before they occur, by not just looking days ahead but years and decades," Bureau of Meteorology CEO and Director of Meteorology Dr Andrew Johnson said.

"It will also enhance the Australian Government's response during times of extreme weather, letting the community know much earlier what is coming, what's in its way, how it will be affected and the consequences of that for the businesses and households."

The Australian Climate Service has a website which is a bit of a shell with extremely minimal information for now. Its launch comes a week before the Federal Budget in what may or may not be an election year.

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