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

18 July 2005

Hunt opens National Tidal Centre in Adelaide


Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, today officially opened the National Tidal Centre (NTC) in Adelaide - a major element of Australia's national and international commitment to develop a tsunami warning system for the region.

"The NTC maintains and manages a network of high quality tide and sea-level gauges in the Australian region and Pacific Ocean," Mr Hunt said.

"During last year's Boxing Day tsunami, the NTC played an important role in monitoring sea level changes at Cocos Island in the Indian Ocean and triggered the relay of vital information to ports along Australia's north western coastline by the Bureau's Perth office.

"In the 2005/06 federal Budget the Australian Government committed $68.9 million to improve tsunami warning services in Australia through the collaborative efforts of the Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia and Emergency Management Australia.

"The expertise of the NTC will now play an important role in the development of a national tsunami warning service and will also supply data to the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System secretariat to be based at the Bureau of Meteorology's offices in Perth.

"This will be crucial in minimising the number of lives lost in any future tsunami event."

Mr Hunt said many people were unaware of the specialised services the NTC provides to support marine and coastal safety in Australian waters and in helping to understand climate changes.

"The NTC is part of the Bureau's Oceanographic Services Program and provides daily tide forecasts for a selection of major locations across Australia and the region. It also monitors long-term sea level change and short-term sea level change associated with storm surges and tidal events such as tsunamis.

"The highly accurate measurement of sea levels and the collecting and analysing of long-term sea-level data across Australia and parts of the Pacific helps scientists to better understand the changing climate and to better forecast the future state of the atmosphere and ocean."

Tide predictions from the NTC for a selection of major locations across Australia and the region are publicly accessible through the Bureau's website: http://www.bom.gov.au/oceanography/tides/

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

Commonwealth of Australia