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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 Paul Neville MP
Federal Member for Hinkler

5 May 2004

New Radar Planned for Gladstone


Weather forecasts in the Gladstone region are set to benefit with the upgrade of Gladstone's weather watch radar and automatic weather station, Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said today.

"The upgrade of the radar and automatic weather station (AWS) at the existing radar site at Radar Hill should help with more accurate warnings of thunderstorms, floods and other severe weather conditions in the Gladstone area," Dr Stone said.

"The weather watch radar will be fully operational by mid 2005 and provide meteorologists with detailed images of the intensity and movement of rain, while the AWS will provide regular updates on wind, temperature, barometric pressure and rainfall."

Dr Stone said the Gladstone radar was one of 15 weather watch radars to be replaced or upgraded across Australia together with six new Doppler radars under a $62 million federal Government project over five years.

"Preliminary upgrade work will begin in the second half of this year with the removal of the old balloon filling shed and the relocation and updating of the automatic weather station on site," Dr Stone said.

Dr Stone praised Mr Paul Neville, Federal Member for Hinkler, who has been a major supporter of the upgrade.

"Mr Neville understands the significance of additional weather forecasting information for the Gladstone community and local businesses in farming, tourism, and the aluminum and fishing industries. He has worked to ensure Gladstone will have some of the best weather forecasting facilities in the country," Dr Stone said.

Mr Neville said the update would play a vital role in monitoring weather conditions.

"As part of the Queensland radar network, the Gladstone radar will assist with cyclone tracking. The AWS will also form part of the Global Climate Observing System network and ensure that local Gladstone data is helping to monitor climate trends on an international scale," Mr Neville said.

Once operational, 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.

The upgrade will also mean community radio station Rhema FM is now looking for a new home after ten years' at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's Gladstone site.

Commonwealth of Australia