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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

7 May 2004

Plans for new Launceston weather office near completion

The Cornwall Square Transit complex on the corner of St John and Cimitiere Streets in the Launceston CBD is on schedule to become home for the Bureau of Meteorology's new Meteorological Information Office.

The Bureau is negotiating a lease for the office and plans for the fit-out are well advanced. The two Bureau staff at the Launceston airport office will be transferred to the new location.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, said today the relocation from Launceston airport to the city's commercial precinct is expected in mid to late July.

Dr Stone commended Senators Guy Barnett and John Watson who have kept a close watch on the new development.

"Senators Barnett and Watson appreciate the important services this office will provide for the Launceston community. They have worked to ensure Launceston has access to some of the best meteorological facilities and services in the country," Dr Stone said.

"This exciting initiative will be the first of its kind in Australia, offering a weekday weather briefing service for the wider Launceston community, as well as general meteorological information and education services for schools and community groups.

"At Launceston Airport, the installation of the upgraded automatic weather observing equipment is now complete, and testing of the new wind profiler and automatic weather station is under way.

"Information from this state-of-the-art equipment will start flowing to forecasting offices by June."

Dr Stone said the wind profiler measured wind speed and direction up to five to eight kilometres above the earth and provides a greater frequency of data than conventional weather balloon flights.

"The automatic weather station has sophisticated instrumentation that reports on visibility and the height of the cloud base overhead as well as temperature, pressure, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and wind direction," Dr Stone said.

To ensure the climate record at Launceston airport is not interrupted, the Bureau will engage a local contractor to undertake weather observations not covered by the automated equipment.

Commonwealth of Australia