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Joint Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
David Jull MP
Federal Member for Fadden

1 December 2005

Brisbane residents to get graphical storm warnings through the net in real time

Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and the Hon. David Jull MP, Federal Member for Fadden today launched an enhanced weather service that will give Queenslanders better online access and more frequent updates to thunderstorm warnings.

Brisbane is the second Australian city to use the new graphical severe thunderstorm forecasting system after Sydney.

Mr Hunt said an additional graphical depiction of severe thunderstorm warnings can be easily accessed via the internet in real time to complement the text based information about pending thunderstorms and what action to take to protect home and property.

"Because the new system takes less time to prepare warnings, this means updates can be more frequent giving householders more time to take appropriate action."

"I congratulate the Bureau of Meteorology on providing this new warning service to the people of Queensland and also congratulate Mr Jull on his commitment to better weather services in Brisbane and Southeast Queensland."

Mr Jull said he was pleased to be able to help the residents of Southeast Queensland be better informed during the storm season.

"The Southeast's biggest storms occur in the warmer months from October to April and while we can't stop a storm, we can be better prepared to protect our lives and property from the impact of a storm."

"In Australia, more damage is caused each year by severe storms than by tropical cyclones, earthquakes, floods or bushfires."

"The warnings are freely available on the Bureau's website and give simple information and a map with locality and suburb names to help householders quickly work out where the storm is in relation to their home," Mr Jull said.

The software for the new system was developed originally for Sydney and the 2000 Olympics by the Bureau of Meteorology's Research Centre in Melbourne. Bureau forecasters in Brisbane have been trialling the service with the Queensland State Emergency Services since early this year.

Mr Hunt said the new weather radar at Mount Stapylton (near Beenleigh) installed as part of a Federal Government-funded $62.2 million upgrade across Australia is due to come online in early 2006 and should lead to further improvements in thunderstorm warning services.

The new warning service will be available from the Bureau's website at Recorded warnings remain available for the cost of a local call on 1300 659 219.

Media contact:
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's office) 0415 740 722 - 02 6277 2276
Mr David Jull 07 5580 0355

Commonwealth of Australia