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Joint Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Barry Haase MP
Federal Member for Kalgoorlie

11 May 2005

Federal budget delivers rebuild of weather offices at Port Hedland, Carnarvon, Halls Creek, Esperance and Broome

Mr Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, joined Member for Kalgoorlie Mr Barry Haase MP today to announce the rebuilding of the meteorological offices at Port Hedland, Carnarvon, Halls Creek, Esperance and Broome.

"These field offices are part of 12 being rebuilt over the next six years thanks to the Howard Government's $19.8 million budget boost for the Bureau," said Mr Hunt.

"This new funding in the 2005-06 Budget demonstrates the Australian Government's commitment to delivering quality meteorological services to communities across Australia.

"I congratulate Mr Haase for the work that he has done to push for better services in Kalgoorlie."

The funding will combine with $14.2 million of existing Bureau funding to rebuild the 12 offices, which are part of an Australia-wide network of 50 offices. The average age of the offices to be replaced is 40 years and many offices are in harsh climates and in exposed places.

"Field offices are vital components of the Bureau's surface and upper atmosphere observations and service delivery networks," said Mr Haase.

"They provide advice on local weather and feed data into the Global Observing System for monitoring weather and climate worldwide. Most operate weather-watch radars and also monitor the upper atmosphere with radar-tracked weather balloons.

"This latest investment by the Howard Government complements the current five-year $62 million technological upgrade of the national weather service, which includes six Doppler radars and 15 new weather watch radars."

Offices to be rebuilt are Willis Island, Longreach and Charleville in Queensland; Sydney Airport in New South Wales; Ceduna in South Australia; and Albany, Carnarvon, Geraldton, Broome, Halls Creek, Esperance and Port Hedland in Western Australia.

The Bureau's total resourcing for 2005-06 is $237.1 million.

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office)  0423 577 045
Frances Pratt (Mr Haase's office)  08 9021 2035

Commonwealth of Australia