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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

23 June 2003

New Internet Weather Services for Regional Victoria

In this, the worst drought on record, and with the added impacts of human induced climate change, farmers, tourist operators and families have never been so focused before on weather.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology, today announced some innovations on the Bureau's website that are aimed specifically at regional Australia, the people needing the most focused and up to date weather information.

"Starting this month, the Bureau will roll out a series of dedicated web pages for regional areas of Australia that are serviced by the Bureau's network of field offices. The first stage of this implementation, using Mildura's regional office inputs, will provide the new service to north-west regional Victoria,'' Dr Stone said.

Thousands of users in rural Australia are tapping into the Bureau's Internet site each day at to access weather information vital to their activities. The information includes current forecasts and warnings, latest weather observations, weather radar and satellite images, historical climatological conditions and seasonal outlooks, weather maps and educational material.

Wherever the Bureau has a local office, the surrounding region will be able to access this locally focused data. The entry point for these web pages is, then follow the link in the "Field Offices" section.

"The web pages can be 'bookmarked' by community members. The Bureau's web site, is currently the most visited Federal Government website in the country, averaging in excess of 60 million hits per month," Dr Stone said.

"However, we do not intend to rest on our laurels. In difficult times like these, where everyone in Northern Victoria is scanning the skies for rain, additional and focused weather information can be of great assistance.''

Andrew Cox (Dr Stone's office) 0408 057 226
Mark Wilgar (Officer-in-Charge, Mildura) (03) 50233404

Commonwealth of Australia