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Joint Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Senator Julian McGauran
Senator for Victoria

30 August 2006

New weather radar for Laverton, near Melbourne

The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, today announced the start of installation works for the new Doppler weather radar at Laverton, southwest of Melbourne.

"The new Doppler radar will provide improved data quality, allowing for better detection and forecasting of severe weather conditions, including thunderstorms capable of producing large hail-stones, heavy rainfall, damaging winds and tornadoes," said Mr Hunt.

"It will replace the current weather watch radar at Laverton, which has provided Melbourne with reliable coverage for many years, but now reached the end of its life," he said.

Senator for Victoria Julian McGauran said "the new Doppler radar will provide improved short-term forecasting services, including better tracking of wind changes, that will be a significant bonus for aviation, marine and bushfire fighting communities across southern Victoria.

"In addition, the new radar will mean improved radar-derived rainfall estimates across catchments in the vicinity of Melbourne and surrounds," he said.

The construction of the tower is expected to commence in January 2007 with initial commissioning of the new radar planned for autumn of 2007.

The radar is being replaced as part of a $62.2 million initiative funded over five years by the Federal Government.

Media contact:
Noel Martin (Office of Mr Hunt) - 0412 360 987
Senator Julian McGauran - 03 9650 3622 or 0409 387 550

Commonwealth of Australia