Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 06, 2024


Weather Forecasting

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (15:14): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development about farmers' concerns about weather forecasting.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: As reported in the Adelaide Advertiser on 13 January 2024, Ian Hastings, a fourth-generation Mallee farmer, highlighted the weather forecast, specifically that rainfall predictions from the Bureau of Meteorology have been wildly inaccurate, adversely affecting the productivity and profitability of farmers. In another article published in the Adelaide Advertiser on 11 January 2024, beef producer Tim Burvill, who operates a farm near Penola, states that farmers were turning to private forecasters. My questions to the minister are:

1. What is the minister planning to do to help SA primary producers obtain more accurate data in forecasting?

2. Will the minister consider any compensation to farmers who have to pay to engage private forecasters?

3. Has the minister made any official representation on behalf of SA farmers to her federal colleagues on the issue of inaccurate forecasts and, if so, when and what response has the minister received from the federal government?

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: Remind me: who runs the Bureau of Meteorology? Oh, Clare, is it?

The PRESIDENT: So the Hon. Mr Hunter is going to take the question?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! Order, the Hon. Mr Hunter!

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Attorney-General, the Hon. Mr Hunter, order!

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:16): As has been pointed out very aptly by the Hon. Mr Hunter, the Bureau of Meteorology is under the federal jurisdiction, and I am very confident that South Australian farmers get their information from a wide range of sources.