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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

17 August 2001

New Wyndham Weather Radar in time for cyclone season

Australia's rugged north-west coastline is not only remote and sometimes dangerous, but often is the first point where tropical cyclones hit Australia's shores from the Indian Ocean.

Timely and accurate reporting of weather in the region is essential for human safety and property protection. A new weather radar provided by the Bureau of Meteorology will go a long way toward providing a better warning of adverse conditions along the tropical north-west coast, according to Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone.

"The Wyndham weather radar will fill one of the remaining gaps in coverage of the tropical coast. The network now has 44 radars covering almost the whole of the Australian coastline, including Norfolk Island and much of the interior of the continent", Sharman Stone said.

"The siting of the radar and the installation of the power lines were dependent on the approval of the traditional owners and I am grateful to the Balangarra Aboriginal Corporation for their willing cooperation and assistance."

The radar will be officially commissioned by the Director of Meteorology Dr John Zillman this afternoon and the animated loops of the last four weather radar images will be immediately available on the Bureau of Meteorology's web pages,

The images from radars across the country give a snapshot of areas experiencing rain as well as an indication of how heavy the rain is.

"The opening of the Wyndham radar is very important to the people of the surrounding area especially as the tropical cyclone season approaches" Sharman Stone said.

"Early warning of cyclones can make a major contribution to the protection of property and the saving of lives. The information provided by the radar will also be particularly useful to the aviation and oil and gas industries, to agriculture in the Ord River irrigation area and to fishing and tourism.

The Howard Government is committing over $200m this year to maintaining and improving the services offered by the Bureau of Meteorology, particularly in rural and regional Australia.

For further information contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
August 17th 2001

Commonwealth of Australia