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Joint Media release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
&
The Hon De-Anne Kelly MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade
Federal Member for Dawson

13 April 2006

Bureau of Meteorology holds free weather radar workshop


The Bureau of Meterorolgy will hold a free Weather Radar Workshop in Mackay this month to help locals get a better understanding of how their new weather station works and how to use its services, Nationals federal MP for Dawson De-Anne Kelly said today.

She said locals are being encouraged to take part in the workshop on April 19 which aims to teach how to use weather technology, especially the radar images provided on the Bureau’s website.

"Recent events have proven its important locals understand and interpret forecasting information, especially during bad weather," Mrs Kelly said.

"The Bureau’s products and services use technology that’s very user friendly and, in a marine community such as Mackay, people may be able to save lives and prevent serious injury just by being aware of weather conditions before they venture out on the water."

Parliamentary Secretary Greg Hunt, who has ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, said the new custom-built facility would improve the region’s cyclone preparedness and forecasting ability.

"The new radar will greatly improve the level of information available to the public and this free workshop will be one of the first times the public gets to see just what Mackay’s new Meteorology facilities can do," Mr Hunt said.

"The Bureau's web site (www.bom.gov.au) is consistently rated one of Australia's most accessed web sites and in recent months has recorded more than 600 million hits a month.  The radar pages are the most popular part of the web site.

"The weather radar network is an essential tool for monitoring cyclones as they approach the coast and much of the radar data is available online, and by utilising the technology, the public can be better prepared for approaching severe weather conditions."

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology will conduct its free Weather Radar Workshop at the Mackay Surf Club, East Point Drive, Mackay Marina on Wednesday, 19 April 2006 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

Space is limited so bookings are essential and can be made via telephone 07 4955 1355 or by email to mackay@bom.gov.au.

Media Contact:
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's Office) 0415 740 722
Brad Matthews (Mrs Kelly’s office) 0409 613 265 / 07 4957 6411

Commonwealth of Australia