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Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

5 December 2006

High Frequency marine radio services extended

Boat users along the Australian coastline and high seas will continue to have access to the marine weather services through a High Frequency (HF) radio service now that the Bureau of Meteorology has extended its service to at least 2010.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, said the Bureau provides mariners with continuous broadcasts of coastal weather observations as well as coastal and ocean weather forecasts and warnings.

"The Bureau's HF broadcasts of marine products allow the delivery of information central to maritime safety," Mr Hunt said.

"The broadcasts provide assurances to mariners operating far from home base.

"They are especially important for smaller craft where coastal radio coverage may be sparse or where long ocean voyages are involved.

"The HF radio-facsimile service provides charts and graphics of forecast weather and ocean conditions and is widely used by thousands of vessels of all sizes off the Australian coastline."

The Bureau had renewed the contract through to June 2010 for the continuation of this service, ensuring mariners would continue to receive maritime safety information for the coming years.

Mr Hunt said also stressed that the Bureau would be evaluating the needs of the maritime user communities for continuing HF radio information services beyond 2010, later this decade.

"The Bureau will be looking at where the world of marine communications is heading into the next decade, taking into account emerging trends in technology and impacts in the consumer market," Mr Hunt said.

Media contact:
John Deller (Mr Hunt's office) on 0400 496 596

Commonwealth of Australia