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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
Senator John Watson
Senator for Tasmania

27 June 2004

Setting sail simpler for southeastern Tasmania

Planning for weather contingencies for a boating trip along Tasmania's Mercury Passage should now be safer and easier thanks to a new Automatic Weather Station at Maria Island.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said a new Automatic Weather Station (AWS) has been installed at Point Lesueur on Maria Island. This will mean more reliable weather information for the southeastern coast of Tasmania.

"The new AWS will capture detailed weather information including wind speed and direction and temperature, humidity, pressure and rainfall every three hours," Dr Stone said.

"All weather observations from Maria Island will be displayed on the Bureau's web site at as are observations from all other Automatic Weather Stations across the country.

"Knowing what to expect from the local weather and the unique wind conditions of the Mercury Passage will take some of the guesswork out of planning a boating trip."

Senator John Watson welcomed the news and said the new AWS would provide enhanced weather forecasts for both maritime users and the general public.

"The southeastern coast of Tasmania is a popular location for both commercial and recreational boaties, including many small craft," Senator Watson said.

"Data from the AWS will help forecasters prepare better coastal waters forecasts for the safety of maritime users and also provide valuable information for the local community and visitors who frequent this popular holiday destination."

Dr Stone praised Senator Watson on his commitment to ensuring that the local community of southeastern Tasmania benefited from improvements to the Bureau of Meteorology's extensive network.

"Maria Island is part of the Bureau of Meteorology's network of more than 500 AWSs nationwide and Senator Watson has worked hard to include southeastern Tasmania as part of this network," Dr Stone said.

Commonwealth of Australia