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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts

Emerald radar up and running

Media release
31 March 2010

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Environment Minister Peter Garrett, today officially commissioned the new Emerald radar.

"The radar will provide excellent coverage over the Central Highlands Region including over the township of Emerald, Emerald Airport and the catchments of the Nogoa River and Lake Maraboon," said Minister Garrett.

The Federal Government provided $5 million over four years in the 2008-09 Budget to install and maintain the radar, including $3 million in capital funding for the purchase and installation of the weather radar and associated infrastructure.

"The new radar will play an important role in protecting families, business and farmers in Emerald and surrounding towns," said Minister Garrett.

Minister Garrett said the importance of this radar to the local and greater community were highlighted last week, when real time images were made publicly available ahead of schedule, in anticipation of the possible impacts of Tropical Cyclone Ului.

Federal Member for Flynn Chris Trevor said he was pleased that another great project for the Central Highlands community had been delivered by the Rudd Labor Government.

"The Rudd Labor Government is a Government that recognizes the outstanding contribution that the Central Highlands makes to the national economy," Mr Trevor said.

The highly sensitive Doppler radar will provide detailed data to support meteorological forecasts for the region. The radar incorporates the latest technology and generates high resolution images every ten minutes.

The radar provides optimal coverage of the Central Highlands region up to about 200km from Emerald, and will support:

"An additional key benefit of the radar is that it will also be supported by the installation of a surface observation network. The network consists of five new automatic weather stations at Clermont, Rolleston, Moranbah, Blackwater and Lochington, and numerous rain gauges and river monitoring instruments in the region. These will allow improved flood monitoring and verification of severe weather conditions as detected by the radar," said Minister Garrett.

In the 2009 budget, the Federal Government announced a further $48 million program to install four new radars around Australia as well as invest in underlying scientific research to develop new capabilities for the Australian radar network.

Commonwealth of Australia