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Joint Media release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Senator Russell Trood
Senator for Queensland

7 April 2006

New research weather radar at Redbank Plains starts construction

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Senator Russell Trood, Senator for Queensland today announced that Redbank Plains will be the site of a new Research Weather Radar as part of a forecasting program being undertaken by the Bureau and the United States National Center for Atmospheric Research.

"South East Queensland is to be the location of a new polarimetric/dual frequency/Doppler weather radar which will also be used for forecasting research that will be shared between the Bureau and the United States National Center for Atmospheric Research," Mr Hunt said.

"This radar has unique observational capabilities allowing it to differentiate areas of rain and hail and their intensities within a storm and to diagnose low level moisture distribution in the vicinity of the radar."

"The radar will also supply data and products to the Queensland Regional Office of the Bureau of Meteorology for forecasting purposes."

"The Bureau will then be able to evaluate the new forecast products and systems in operational settings."

"This radar is unique internationally and will be a focus for ongoing research and development work involving national and international partners"

"I congratulate Senator for Queensland, Russell Trood for his commitment to improving weather services in the South East Queensland region."

Senator Trood said the radar would be invaluable in monitoring storms in the rapidly developing South East Queensland Region.

"The radar will monitor the frequent intense storms that affect an area of South East Queensland that has boomed in population and economic development," he said.

"The region is often seriously affected by intense rainfall periods and is severely impacted by some 10-12 storms each year - making the area's underlying meteorological conditions a perfect platform from which to develop observational networks."

Mr Hunt said the new radar will be supported by ground and satellite based technologies and should be functioning in time to provide data to the Bureau by next summer.

"I look forward to seeing this new data being available to forecasters and getting new products that can assist in the mitigation of storm impact out to the user community," Mr Hunt said.

Mr Hunt said the new weather radar was part of an Australian Government commitment to invest $2.5 million in upgrading weather radar technology for research and development of weather services nationally, in addition to the $62 million investment in the replacement and upgrade of operation radars.

The successful tender for the Redbank Plains radar site works is T.P. Turner Pty Ltd.

Media Contact:
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's Office) 0415 740 722
Julie Crouch (Senator Trood's Office) 07 3372 4555

Commonwealth of Australia