Costo drops bomb on the BoM
TARDY Cyclone Iris updates from the Bureau of Meteorology have the member for Whitsunday questioning the public trust once enjoyed by the government-run organisation.
On Easter Monday a release of the scheduled track map and severe weather warning was due to be released at 11pm.
But it was late.
Jason Costigan said the information bulletin, the track map and the severe weather warning were all late.
"Not just by a couple of minutes either,” he said.
"The information bulletin came out eventually at 11.42pm, the forecast track map at 11.53pm and the severe weather warning, well it couldn't have been too severe because it came out after midnight.”
Mr Costigan said he raised the issue with the BoM regional director Bruce Gunn and expressed his "disgust”.
"He accepted the criticism and he told me that they had one person on doing all those three jobs on Easter Monday,” he said.
"One person on a Monday night with a cyclone off the Queensland coast and they serve up crap like that?
"Clearly there is a staffing issue that needs to be bought out into the open.”
In 2016 the BoM laid off more than 30 employees in 24 regional stations.
Mr Costigan questioned the centralisation of BoM offices and employees in Brisbane and suggested the establishment of a cyclone warning centre in regional North Queensland.
"They have got one in Perth, thy have got one in Darwin and they have one in Brisbane, why don't we have one in North Queensland?”
The BoM since its inception has been a much-trusted source of live-saving information, but the latest failure to provide on-time updates has Mr Costigan also questioning if this is still the case.
"People have lost faith in the weather bureau,” he said.
"And that is sad as I have always held them in the highest esteem... people are getting their information from many different sources now in this digital era and the weather bureau needs to stay ahead of the game.
"Delaying the information flow because that don't have the man-power underlines just what a cot case it is.” he said.