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Table of Contents

History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology




Chapter 1: Germination and Growth
The First Three Decades
A Time of Rapid Growth

Chapter 2: Struggle, Competition and Emergence

Appendix 1: Meteorology Act 1906

Appendix 2: Meteorology Act 1955

Appendix 3: Simpson Report

Appendix 4: Survey Questionnaire

Appendix 5: Bibliography



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The Background Story

When the Commonwealth Government gained control of meteorological services in Australia in 1906 it inherited a system which, in common with most of the other government controlled instrumentalities, varied greatly from state to state in its effectiveness and organisation.

Some states such as New South Wales and South Australia which had influential individuals in charge, had a well organised network using a standard set of instruments. Other systems, such as those in Queensland and Western Australia, had suffered from official indifference or numerous changes in leadership, each one with their own ideas as to how things should be set up and maintained. This resulted in a situation in which there was great variation both between the states and, in some cases, within them on such matters as types of instruments and their exposure and the various elements to be measured.

It had long been recognised by Government Astronomers Russell, Todd and Ellery, respectively from New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, and by other early meteorologists that Australia would benefit greatly from the free interchange of standardised information between the states. Indeed, it has been suggested that the agreements which arose from the Inter-colonial Meteorological Conferences were amongst the first to show that the states had a good deal to gain from increased cooperation and so, perhaps, pointed the way towards the federal system we have today (Home and Livingstone [38]).

People in Bright Sparcs - Ellery, Robert Lewis John; Russell, Henry Chamberlain; Todd, Charles

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Gardner, J. 1997 'Stormy Weather: A History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 11 December 1997, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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