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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 Fawcett MP
Federal Member for Wakefield
The University of Adelaide
18 May 2005
Mr Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Mr David Fawcett, Federal Member for Wakefield, and Prof. Robert Vincent of The University of Adelaide, today announced the halfway point of construction on the first of Australia's new technologically advanced weather radars at Buckland Park on the northern outskirts of Adelaide.
Mr Hunt, who has responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology, said the construction process was on track for this new Doppler Weather Radar to be operational by August 2005.
"This is a milestone in the federal Government's commitment to delivering quality meteorological services to the communities of South Australia as part of a $62 million upgrade of radar systems across Australia," Mr Hunt said
Mr Fawcett said the radar tower and dish are now in place and the structure extends to a height of some 20 metres above ground level.
"The tower is four metres in diameter and the radome, which will sit on top of the tower and protect the radar dish, has a diameter of 12 metres. The radome was installed last week and the structure now stands at an impressive 30 metres high. The next stage of the project will involve the installation of the radar and will take approximately six weeks," Mr Fawcett said.
"This is a major investment for Greater Adelaide and the central South Australia area with potential benefits once the radar is operational estimated at several hundred thousand dollars a year.
"As a former Defence Force test pilot I understand how important this radar will be to pilots and aviators. The extra detail it gives will improve the reliability of forecasts and help aviators better deal with weather conditions, particularly during severe storms and the changing conditions of a storm front as it progresses along the Yorke Peninsula."
University of Adelaide Professor of Physics, Professor Robert Vincent, said the University was delighted to be involved with the first of Australia's new high performance Doppler Weather Radars.
"This is a wonderful research opportunity for the University to benefit from the improved knowledge and accuracy of weather conditions that this radar will provide including information on rain, severe weather, public weather, marine and aviation services," Prof Vincent said.
The geographical coverage of the new radar will be integrated with the existing radar network, including the existing Adelaide weather radar at Sellicks Hill.
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045
Karen Petney (Mr Fawcett's office) 08 8523 0555
Dr Lisa Edwards (University of Adelaide) 08 8303 3619