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Joint Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
&
Mr Bob Baldwin, MP
Federal Member for Paterson

8 October 2002

New Radar Planned for Watching Local Weather


Farmers, tourists, aviators, the RAAF and the wider community in the Hunter and Great Lakes area will have access to information from the latest in weather radar technology in 2003, following the installation of a new weather-watch radar at Lemon Tree Passage near Williamtown according to Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Bureau of Meteorology.

Dr Stone and the Federal Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin, today announced that the weather watch radar installation would commence shortly, following planning approval from Port Stephens Council.

"The new Lemon Tree Passage weather-watch radar will provide meteorologists with detailed images of the intensity and movement of rainfall, leading to more accurate warnings of thunderstorms, floods and other severe weather conditions in the Newcastle area and parts of the Hunter Valley region,” Dr Stone said.

"Good weather coverage will be provided for locations such as Raymond Terrace, Forster, Taree, Scone, Singleton and Cessnock. Local people with internet access will be able to track incoming weather by viewing the radar data on the Bureau's Website at www.bom.gov.au,” Mr Baldwin said.

The new radar, to be built at a cost of $1.5 million, will replace the Bureau radar at the Williamtown RAAF base and provide higher quality data and better coverage of the area.

The improved weather information will be very beneficial for local weather-sensitive activities such as civil aviation, tourism and winemaking, as well as RAAF operations, by enabling better-informed decisions to be made, and timely precautions to be taken, in the face of oncoming weather.

"Funding for the Lemon Tree Passage radar is being provided by the Howard Government as part of its commitment to ensuring the community has access to the most up-to-date meteorological technology," Dr Stone said.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s contractor, GHD, is now moving to the tender phase with the aim of having the facility operational by May 2003.

“Bob Baldwin should be congratulated for his persistence in making sure that the Electorate of Paterson has access to the latest in weather technology, via one of the most popular websites in the country,” Dr Stone said.

For further information:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
Bob Baldwin 0419 694 620
Anna Fitzgerald 02 4983 1330

Commonwealth of Australia