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

21 July 2004

New weather station boosts coverage of Queensland coast


More detailed information about the weather at some of Queensland's most popular holiday destinations will now be possible with the installation of an automatic weather station on the Central Queensland coast.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said a new Automatic Weather Station (AWS) was now installed at Middle Percy Island.

"The new Automatic Weather Station will provide forecasters with around the clock information about the weather conditions along the Central Queensland coast and will be particularly valuable when a tropical cyclone threatens ," Dr Stone said.

"It will also assist with the preparation of coastal waters forecasts for the Whitsundays and Mackay and the bulk coal exporting terminals of Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay. It will also be very valuable in giving several hours warning of changes in the prevailing south-easterly trade winds."

Dr Stone said lighthouse keepers at Pine Islet took the first weather observations in the Percy Island Group in 1934. The lighthouse was automated in 1987 but manual observations at Middle Percy Island were taken from 1999 to 2001.

De-Anne Kelly, Federal Member for Dawson, said the new installation would complement the weather watch radar installed at Bowen last month.

"The Middle Percy Island AWS will increase the range of information available to forecasters in tracking cyclones and severe storms that can threaten the central Queensland coast," Mrs Kelly said.

"In addition to the Bowen radar, the installation of the Middle Percy Island AWS demonstrates the federal Government's commitment to delivering quality meteorological services to rural and regional Australia."

Dr Stone acknowledged Mrs Kelly's hard work to ensure that the Central Queensland region had access to some of the most modern weather surveillance facilities in Australia.

"Middle Percy Island is part of the Bureau of Meteorology's extensive observational network of more than 500 AWS stations nationwide. Mrs Kelly has worked hard to include this part of Central Queensland in this network," Dr Stone said.

All observations of weather from the Middle Percy Island AWS will be displayed on the Bureau's web site at http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDQ60043.txt

Commonwealth of Australia