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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
25 June 2004
For more than a decade, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) has operated a network of Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) in western Victoria to monitor weather conditions that may affect fire fighting operations, such as summer-time wind changes, Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.
"The CFA has now decided that it would be of mutual benefit to have the Australian Bureau of Meteorology own and operate this network as part of the Bureau's national Automatic Weather Station network," Dr Stone said.
"These AWSs will now undergo an upgrade as they become part of the Bureau's network of over 500 Automatice Weather Stations nationwide.
"The AWS at Hopetoun Airport is the first to be upgraded in the old CFA network."
Mr John Forrest, Federal Member for Mallee, welcomed the news and said the upgrade would be a real benefit for the entire community.
"I've had concerns about weather recording in the Mallee region for some time," Mr Forrest said.
"This upgrade will provide a range of weather observations including wind, temperature, humidity and rainfall.
"It will help our local firefighters and community and be of significant value to aviators who use Hopetoun airport and the public in general."
Dr Stone praised Mr Forrest for his commitment to ensuring that the local community in the area benefited from improvements to the Bureau of Meteorology's network.
"The AWS at Hopetoun Airport will provide weather information 365 days a year, 24 hours a day," Dr Stone said.
All observations of weather from Hopetoun will be displayed on the Bureau's web site at www.bom.gov.au along with observations from all other Automatic Weather Stations across the country.