Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Dick Adams MP

Federal Member for Lyons

Senator Carol Brown

Senator for Tasmania

Senator Catryna Bilyk

Senator for Tasmania

New weather bureau radar for south-east Tasmania

Joint Media release
27 April 2012

Tasmania’s new state-of-the-art Doppler weather radar will provide coverage to large sections of the state for the first time.

Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, today officially launched the Bureau of Meteorology’s new Hobart Mt Koonya radar, located on the Tasman Peninsula south-east of Hobart.

“This radar, at more than 36 metres high, is the tallest anywhere in Australia and is a very important addition to the Bureau’s national radar network,” Senator Farrell said.

“It significantly improves the Bureau’s weather observation capability in Tasmania and its ability to warn the community about the potential impact of severe weather.

The Hobart Mt Koonya radar will cover all of south-east Tasmania, extending the Bureau’s radar coverage to the west coast, north-east and Central Plateau, which links up with coverage provided by the West Takone radar in the north-west of the state.

“The $48 million Strategic Radar Enhancement Project – funded through the 2009/10 Federal Budget – has delivered new weather radars for Wollongong and Hobart, with radars at Mount Isa, in Queensland, and Warruwi, in the Northern Territory, to follow over the next year.”

Federal Member for Lyons, the Hon Dick Adams MP, said the Hobart Mt Koonya radar’s Doppler capability means detailed wind information can be provided in addition to rainfall, enhancing the Bureau’s capability in forecasting extreme weather events in the state.

“The new radar will make it easier for communities to track Tasmania’s ever changing weather through the Bureau’s website and public forecasts, which will make planning weather-sensitive events and functions much easier – no one likes a wet picnic!”, Mr Adams said.

Labor Senator for Tasmania, the Hon Carol Brown, said the radar will provide accurate and timely information about severe weather events such as fire, strong winds and heavy rainfall.

“That information will help people to better prepare for severe weather events at a community level and across industries including the agricultural, maritime and recreational sectors,” Senator Carol Brown said.

Labor Senator for Tasmania, the Hon Catryna Bilyk, said the new radar would provide significantly more detailed wind and rainfall information across the south-east of the state.

“The location of the radar and its extra-tall tower were designed to enable it to look out over our State’s iconic forests and mountains,” Senator Bilyk said.

Radars send out radio waves that reflect particles in the atmosphere such as raindrops, hailstones or snowflakes. Measuring the characteristics of the reflected radio waves allows meteorologists to monitor the development and movement of showers, thunderstorms, cold fronts and rainbands.

To view the data feed from the Mt Koonya radar go to