Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Esperance gets state-of-the-art weather observation facilities

Media release
8 December 2010

A new purpose-built Bureau of Meteorology weather observation office has been opened today in Esperance, Western Australia, by Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water.

The state-of-the-art building has been designed to be environmentally friendly and built to withstand extreme weather conditions.

It was commissioned by the Federal Government to replace the original building constructed at the same site in 1969.

Funding of $2.2. million for the new observation office was provided as part of an initiative to replace twelve aged field offices.

The funding allocated to replace the old Esperance office included money to purchase a remote hydrogen balloon launching facility, to improve safety for staff when they launch balloons.

The new office also features a new taller radar tower, increased in height from 7m to 14m, which will enable higher resolution weather surveillance at a greater range.

“The observers stationed at Esperance collect surface and upper air data - such as detailed wind and rain information - that is vitally important in helping the Bureau provide its many weather forecasts for those on the land, at sea or in the air,” Senator Farrell said.

“The new facilities will provide a significant boost for local weather services, providing valuable tools for the general public, aviators, the rural sector and local emergency services.”

In addition to supplying information used in weather forecasts, the data collected by the Esperance office also helps identify long term trends and variations in Australia’s climate.

It is one of around sixty such stations in Australia that form part of a global network of surface and upper air monitoring stations that feed data into sophisticated computer models.