The Bureau of Meteorology is Australia's national weather, climate and water agency. Its expertise and services assist Australians in dealing with the harsh realities of their natural environment, including drought, floods, fires, storms, tsunami and tropical cyclones. Through regular forecasts, warnings, monitoring and advice spanning the Australian region and Antarctic territory, the Bureau provides one of the most fundamental and widely used services of government.
The Bureau contributes to national social, economic, cultural and environmental goals by providing observational, meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic services and by undertaking research into science and environment related issues in support of its operations and services.
The Bureau of Meteorology operates under the authority of the Meteorology Act 1955 and the Water Act 2007 which provide the legal basis for its activities, while its operation is continually assessed in accordance with the national need for climatic records, water information, scientific understanding of Australian weather and climate and effective service provision to the Australian community. The Bureau of Meteorology must also fulfill Australia's international obligations under the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and related international meteorological treaties and agreements.
On 1 July 2002, the Bureau of Meteorology became an Executive Agency under the Public Service Act 1999, and on 12 September 2002 it became a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. Under the Public Service Act, the Director of Meteorology has the powers and responsibilities of an agency head, and under current administrative arrangements reports to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.