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

26 October 2006

New $1.6m weather radar for Western Queensland

Farmers, firefighters and pilots in Western Queensland will be among those who can now gain better weather information with the official opening today of the new Warrego Weather Radar.

Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology, Greg Hunt, said the new $1.6 million state-of-the-art facility constructed at Dulbydilla, about half way between Morven and Mungallala, will provide better data and cover a wider area.

"The new location for the radar will continue to detect rainfall activity well to the west of Charleville and will also provide improved coverage of areas to the east including Mitchell and Roma," Mr Hunt said.

"The new radar's practical limit of coverage extends southwest to the town of Cunnamulla and southeast to the town of St George and to the north the coverage extends to the southern limits of the Carnarvon National Park along The Great Dividing Range. I congratulate Mr Scott for his efforts to gain the new facility."

Federal Member for Maranoa, Bruce Scott, who officially opened the new radar said it will benefit many local business groups in their planning and preparations.

"This new facility will provide meteorologists and the public, through the weather bureau's popular website, the ability to more easily detect rain bearing systems, and follow their movement," Mr Scott said.

"It is an important tool for local weather services as well as the general public, aviators, the rural sector and emergency services, including the Rural Fire Service and flood managers within local councils.

"With a more efficient weather tracking system, farmers, graziers, aviators and many other groups can plan their jobs in light of any predicted rainfall," he said.

The former radar at Charleville Airport had been in operation since 1983. It was primarily sited for tracking weather balloons but was not in the optimum location for weather watch radar operations, which hampered coverage of the surrounding area.

This new Dulbydilla site is one of 15 weather watch radars funded under a five-year $62 million radar upgrade project which is being funded by the Australian Government.

Imagery from the Bureau's network of weather radars is freely available on the Bureau web site The site is consistently rated as one of Australia's most popular websites.

Media contacts:
John Deller (Greg Hunt's office) on 0400 496 596 or
Monica McCabe (Mr Scott's office) on 0427 743 126

Commonwealth of Australia