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

17 August 2006

Bureau gets carried away for National Science Week


Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology today invited the public to take advantage of the Bureau opening its doors to the public as part of National Science Week. The Bureau will be launching a series of balloon flights as part of the week long celebrations from the Bureau's Broadmeadows Annexe.

Mr Hunt said the public open day is an opportunity for the community to glimpse a rare look inside the Bureau's operations and an insight into how the weather is predicted.

"The Bureau of Meteorology is very important to many people in our community - the marine and agricultural industries depend on Bureau information for their day to day operation and a lot of people are generally interested in the weather and how it will effect their day."

"This open day is an opportunity for weather watchers to come inside the Bureau and speak to the meteorologists who they depend on for weather information, share weather knowledge with them and also see how the Bureau operates."

"The open day is also a perfect opportunity for school groups to visit the Bureau and speak to their meteorologists and other scientists to find out about career paths at the Bureau of Meteorology."

"Weather observers have interesting careers - they work at weather stations all around Australia and its territories, including Antarctica, with high technology equipment. They take observations, maintain the quality of the data and deliver weather services to their local community."

The Bureau's Broadmeadows training annexe operates world-class facilities including weather-watch and wind-finding radars.

The open day will be based on-site where the public will be treated to a tour of both outdoor and indoor operations. They will observe a hydrogen-filled weather balloon release and associated tracking equipment, see first-hand how data are collected for the Australian climate record, and hear about the influence of climate on marine and agricultural sectors.

Current weather observer trainees will be hosting each session. The observations program is a vital function of the Bureau, essential to the everyday services of the agency. Observations are collected, recorded and disseminated all around Australia for many purposes - weather balloons are an essential tool for collecting information on the atmosphere.

The event is for today only, and the 90-minute sessions on offer have been fully booked by schools and community groups.

Media are invited to an 11am session at the Bureau's training annexe on Glenlitta Ave, Broadmeadows (off Camp Rd). During this session a 1,200-gram ozone balloon will be released and tracked.

This media release is on the Bureau website http://www.bom.gov.au/ under NEWS / Media Releases
For more information about 2006 National Science Week visit: www.scienceweek.info.au

Media contact:
Kristy McSweeney, Office of Mr Hunt 0415 740 722
Tarini Casinader, Bureau of Meteorology 03 9669 4839

Commonwealth of Australia