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Media Release
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Greg Hunt MP

26 February 2005

Six Billion Hits! - Weather website tops government online listings

The Bureau of Meteorology's website was recognised as the most popular government web site and the most popular education website at the first Hitwise Australian Online Performers awards.

Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, with ministerial responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology, said the site's remarkable popularity again demonstrated the public's thirst for accurate and timely weather information.

"In particular, hits on the displays from the radar network around Australia represent 70 percent of the website action," Mr Hunt said.

He noted the Bureau's long history of pioneering new and better ways of delivering weather, climate and hydrological forecasts, warnings and information to the community.

"Each year the number of hits to the website doubles, and the traffic volume increases by about 80%," Mr Hunt said.

"Over the last 12 months the Bureau received some 6 billion hits, and almost 44 terabytes (trillions of bytes) of data were downloaded. It's estimated that this represents some 40 million individual visits to the site."

Accepting the awards at a presentation at the Crystal Ballroom, Luna Park, Sydney on Friday 25 February, Barry Hanstrum, the NSW Regional Director of the Bureau of Meteorology, said the website (http://www.bom.gov.au) had significantly changed the way the Bureau presented and distributed its forecasts and warnings.

"Five years ago, nobody would have expected its exponential growth," Mr Hanstrum said.

Hitwise is an international online measurement company giving users data on their online performance within their industry. The awards recognising excellence in online performance through public popularity are based on the surfing habits of over 3,000 000 Australian Internet users during 2004.

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

Commonwealth of Australia