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Joint Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
&
David Jull MP
Federal Member for Fadden

4 February 2005

Brisbane site named for advanced new radar


Mr Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage and Mr David Jull, Federal Member for Fadden, today announced that the second of Australia's technologically advanced weather radars will be built at Mt Stapylton on the southeastern outskirts of Brisbane.

Mr Hunt, who has ministerial responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology, said the new Doppler Weather Radar will be built on land owned by the Queensland Government and is expected to be operational by the end of 2005.

“This will be the second of six new Doppler radars as part of the Australian Government's $62 million five-year commitment to replace older and less powerful meteorological radar systems throughout Australia,” Mr Hunt said.

“The improved quality of data provided by Doppler radars allows better detection and improved forecasting of severe weather patterns including severe thunderstorms capable of producing large hail-stones, heavy rainfall, damaging winds and tornadoes.

“It will enhance the Bureau's ability to identify major storms affecting South East Queensland, and should increase the warning lead times directed to the community in the event of severe weather conditions.”

Mr Hunt thanked the Gold Coast City Council and the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines for their valuable cooperation.

Mr Jull said the new radar would enhance the quality of forecasts for Brisbane and the Gold Coast region including more detailed monitoring of rainfall.

“Brisbane is one of Australia's busiest storm capitals and recorded 14 severe thunderstorms during the 2003/04 season,” Mr Jull said.

“The new radar will mean better monitoring of storms, weather fronts and east coast lows and improved radar-derived rainfall estimates across catchments in the Lockyer and Esk valleys and the Gold Coast hinterland.

“Improvements in short-term forecasting services including better tracking of wind changes will also be a significant bonus for aviation, marine and bushfire fighting communities across the greater South East Queensland region.”

The new radar will complement the coverage provided by the existing radar located near Marburg about 50km west of Brisbane city.

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045
Tim Miller (Mr Jull's office) (07) 5580 0355

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