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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders

1 July 2005

June rainfall brings relief, but more needed in many areas


Mr Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said today that rainfall totals one to four times the average have been recorded by the Bureau through much of eastern Australia during June, bringing much needed relief to many previously dry areas.

"Heaviest rainfalls in recent days have occurred near the Gold Coast and adjacent areas of northern coastal New South Wales. The heaviest daily rainfall observed for the 24 hours to 9 a.m. on 30 June was 510 mm at Carrara. This is the heaviest June daily rainfall in Australia since Springbrook set a Queensland June record with 621 mm on 12 June 1967," Mr Hunt said.

"However, despite the recent heavy rains, serious rainfall deficits accumulated over the past three years and longer still remain across large parts of eastern Australia. Such long term deficits have a severe impact upon larger dams, rivers, and urban and rural water storages.

"Many of the drought affected regions have still received less than 80% of their average January to June rainfall, with many parts of western NSW and southern Queensland only recording totals since the start of the year around 50% of normal. Northern SA and inland central WA have in fact received less than 20% of their mean rainfall since 1 January.

"The Bureau's drought statement released today ( www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/drought.shtml ) shows that regions which had been experiencing serious and severe rainfall deficiencies since the start of the year, namely southern Queensland, western NSW, eastern SA, and parts of southern NT, have seen these extreme deficiencies removed by the June rains.

"However areas of northern Tasmania, central Western Australia, north western SA and south eastern NT continue to show strong deficiencies, as do some small areas on the NSW/Queensland border.

"The June rainfall is in stark contrast to the previous three months, when the same regions generally received less than 60% of their long-term average rainfall, with large areas of NSW, Queensland, Victoria and SA recording less than 20% of their average autumn total."

The current seasonal outlook from the Bureau suggests a 45-50% likelihood of above average rainfall for much of the country for the July to September period

Bureau of Meteorology Drought Statement is available from: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/drought.shtml

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045

Commonwealth of Australia