An absurd government monopoly that killed a lot of people

It is against the law for private meteorologists to disseminate weather warnings, but at least one weather expert wishes he had broken the law.

Anthony Cornelius, a meteorologist with the private forecasting service Weather Watch, says he and others on the blog site predicted the extreme flash flood in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley on January 10 but his hands were tied to get the message out.

"By law we are not allowed to issue warnings and as a private meteorologist we are not allowed to contact the media or other authorities and warn them of something that the bureau hasn't warned for, but at the same time I wish I didn't obey that law that day," he told ABC Radio. "It is something, unfortunately, you have to live with."

The torrent of water hit Toowoomba and rushed down the range into the Lockyer Valley, killing 22 of the state's 35 flood victims.

Mr Cornelius said he made a submission to the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry, which is hearing evidence in Toowoomba on Monday.

He said in his submission he calls for private meteorologists to have more power. "There is a lot of things that need to be fixed throughout the warning systems and the way we get weather information out to the public," he said.

"The private meteorological companies, they can play a fairly significant role in these things, and they should be able to have the authority to be able to contact people in the know if they honestly believe there is a situation that at least warrants having somebody look at the event."


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