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Joint Media Release
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Greg Hunt MP
David Fawcett MP
Federal Member for Wakefield
The University of Adelaide

31 March 2005

Work begins on Australia's most advanced new radar

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 that work has begun on the first of Australia's 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 new Doppler Weather Radar is expected to be operational by August 2005.

"This is the first of six new Doppler radars as part of the Federal Government's $62 million five-year commitment to upgrade meteorological radar systems throughout Australia," Mr Hunt said.

Mr Fawcett said the radar represented a $3.5 million investment in weather services for central South Australia, including Adelaide.

"This radar demonstrates a federal Government commitment to delivering state-of-the-art meteorological services to the communities of South Australia and the northern Adelaide region in particular," Mr Fawcett said.

"New data from this radar will complement imagery from the existing radar at Sellicks Hills and help meteorologists to understand better some of the uniqueness of our local weather.

"It will be a real bonus to aviators, farmers, viticulturalists, fishermen, tourist operators and communities all of us who have an interest in the weather or rely on it as part of our day-to-day lives.

"Doppler radars can help improve warning times and forecasts by better detection of severe weather patterns and more detailed monitoring of rainfall. It also provides better tracking of wind changes and this will give greater assurance to marine and bushfire fighting communities.

The new radar is being built on land owned by the University of Adelaide. University of Adelaide Professor of Physics, Professor Robert Vincent, said information from the radar would be used for atmospheric physics research.

"Data from the radar will help researchers to improve our knowledge about weather patterns, particularly those that are unique to South Australia," Prof Vincent said.

"We are delighted to be a part of this cooperative opportunity with the Bureau of Meteorology."

Media Contacts:
Katrina Flannery (Mr Hunt's office) 03 5979 3188
Karen Petney (Mr Fawcett's office) 08 8523 0555
Dr Lisa Edwards (University of Adelaide) 08 8303 3619

Commonwealth of Australia