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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
The Hon De-Anne Kelly
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Federal Member for Dawson

11 May 2004

Mackay closure claims untrue

There are no cuts to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology services in the Mackay area or in other parts of regional Australia, nor has future recruitment been cancelled, Dr Sharman Stone Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said today.

Dr Stone was responding to a press release by an anonymous group or individual calling themselves the Friends of the Bureau that recruitment at the Bureau had ceased and that services in rural and regional areas were in jeopardy.

"The claims are complete nonsense. There is absolutely no truth to this claim," Dr Stone said.

"In fact, the Bureau is investing around $4.5 million in new weather services and infrastructure in Mackay and Bowen from this year.

"This includes updating the Mackay Meteological Office as well as installing a weather watch radar at Bowen as part of a $62 million federal Government commitment announced last year.

"It will mean improved weather services for the whole region."

Dr Stone praised Mrs De-Anne Kelly, Federal Member for Dawson, who has been a major supporter of the Bureau of Meteorology in her electorate and the works at Mackay and Bowen.

"Mrs Kelly understands the importance to the local community of improved weather services. She continues to work hard to ensure that the Dawson electorate has access to some of the best meteorological facilities and services in the country," Dr Stone said.

Mrs Kelly said the Bowen radar was currently undergoing testing and work at the Mackay office is scheduled to commence in the second half of this year.

"These investments in local meteorological services and infrastructure demonstrate the federal Government's commitment through the Bureau to keeping and improving services throughout regional and rural Australia," Mrs Kelly said.
Commonwealth of Australia