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Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
John Cobb MP
Federal Member for Parkes

19 May 2005

New meteorological office for Cobar

Mr Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with Ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Mr John Cobb MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services and Federal Member for Parkes, today announced the opening of new office and observing facilities at one of Australia's most visited meteorological offices, in Cobar, western New South Wales.

The Hon John Cobb MP officially opened the Office today.

Mr Hunt said the new office played an important role in the Bureau's delivery of quality meteorological services and information.

"The Cobar Meteorological Office records upper air observations, surface temperatures, humidity, air pressure, evaporation, soil temperatures to a depth of 1 metre, sunshine, rainfall, rainfall intensity, wind speed and direction," Mr Hunt said.

"Data from Cobar is used for local and regional weather forecasts. It is also an important station in the Global Climate Observing System network and observations from Cobar are used around the world to monitor large-scale climate phenomena such as El Nino and the Southern Oscillation.

"John Cobb has worked hard for the delivery of this office and I commend him on his push to continue to deliver quality meteorological services to the communities of the Parkes electorate."

Mr Cobb said the new facilities would make weather services even more popular in Cobar.

"As a thriving regional community we have a significant interest in the weather and that is what makes the Cobar Meteorological Office one of Australia's most popular," Mr Cobb said.

"The new facilities at this office will enable personal links between the Bureau and local schools, business and the media and general public and presents an opportunity for the Cobar community to help shape Bureau products and services to meet community needs and expectations."

As part of today's ceremony, Mr Cobb presented Mrs Alma Cooney of Hermidale Tank, between Nyngan and Cobar, with a Rainfall Excellence Award in recognition of 50 years of individual, and 100 years of family rainfall observations at Hermidale Tank.

"The first official rainfall readings at Hermidale Tank were taken by Mrs Cooney's grandmother in 1905 and continued by her mother in 1955," Mr Cobb said.

"In the 100 years since, every month's rainfall from Hermidale Tank has been recorded and forms an important part in the climate record of central New South Wales and of Australia. I thank Mrs Cooney for her family's participation and commitment to this important piece of our local history."

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office)  0423 577 045
Jennie Geerdink (Mr Cobb's office)  02 6882 0999 / 0427 756 500

Commonwealth of Australia