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Joint Media Release
The Hon. Dr Sharman Stone MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
&
Mr John Forrest MP
Federal Member for Mallee

21 July 2004

Charlton benefits with new weather station


One of Victoria's largest grain growing regions now has access to high quality local weather data in real time.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) had been installed at Charlton in western Victoria.

“A good knowledge of local weather conditions is important for the agricultural sector of one of Victoria's significant grain regions,” Dr Stone said

“This new weather station will provide accurate readings of temperature, humidity and wind as well as rainfall every hour. From today, all observations of weather from the Charlton Automatic Weather Station will be displayed on the Bureau's web site at: http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDV65119.shtml.”

Dr Stone said the Bureau had a long record of weather observations at Charlton, dating back nearly 100 years.

“The full weather reporting station was closed at the end of 1976 and until now only rainfall records had been taken at that station,” Dr Stone said.

“Given the length of record and the importance of Charlton as a regional centre, the Bureau has decided to install an Automatic Weather Station ensuring that reliable weather records will be taken into the foreseeable future.”

Mr John Forrest, Federal Member for Mallee welcomed the news and said the new AWS would be a significant benefit to the local Charlton community.

“The new AWS will continue a unique weather history for Charlton and the data from the station will benefit primary producers, fire fighting authorities (CFA) and rural community groups including many local sporting groups,” Mr Forrest said.

“The site is strategically placed directly opposite the local airstrip, and the data will be valuable for local aviators and crop dusting operators.”

Dr Stone praised Mr Forrest for his commitment to ensuring that Charlton benefited from improvements to the Bureau of Meteorology's extensive observational network.

“Charlton is part of the Bureau of Meteorology's network of more than 500 Automatic Weather Stations nationwide. Mr Forrest understands the importance of being a part of this network and he has worked hard to have Charlton included,” Dr Stone said.

“These highly reliable and increasingly versatile automated systems are being used more and more as they provide data 365 days a year in all weather, day and night.”

Commonwealth of Australia