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Joint Media Release
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment & Heritage
Member for Flinders
Greg Hunt MP
Senator for the Northern Territory
Senator Nigel Scullion
19 October 2005
Mr Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Senator Nigel Scullion, Senator for the Northern Territory will officially commission the recently installed weather radar at Tennant Creek Airport on 19 October 2005.
The WF100 radar replaces an obsolete WF3 wind-measuring radar which has operated at Tennant Creek Meteorological Office for the past 32 years.
The WF100 will have two roles at Tennant Creek. Firstly, it will provide a weather watch capability providing detailed imagery showing the location, intensity and movement of rainfall, updated every 10 minutes and will provide an important boost for regional weather services. It will also provide forecasters with improved upper wind measurements through closer tracking of a weather balloon target.
"This is great news for Tennant Creek and the industry and remote communities of the Barkly and northern Alice Springs districts," Mr Hunt said.
"For the first time, it will give meteorologists, and the public via the Bureau's website, the ability to more easily detect and accurately track significant weather events by radar."
Radar images will be unavailable for about 90 minutes during balloon tracking operations, which are done every 6 to 12 hours.
Mr Hunt said the radar upgrade is part of a Federal Government commitment of $62.2 million over 5 years to replace and upgrade weather radars across Australia.
"It is the first of two radars in the Northern Territory to be funded for upgrade under this initiative, with a new radar scheduled for Darwin in 2007."
"The new Tennant Creek radar demonstrates the federal Government's commitment to providing quality meteorological services to rural and regional Australia," he said.
A total of 15 obsolete radars will be upgraded under the same initiative and a further six advanced Doppler radars are being installed at Adelaide, Melbourne, Yarrawonga, Sydney, Tamworth and Brisbane.
Images from the new radar will be available on the Bureau's web site at www.bom.gov.au
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's office) 02 6277 2276
Bev Cubillo (Senator Scullion's office) 08 8948 3555