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Joint Media Release
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage Federal Member for Flinders
Greg Hunt MP
&
Liberal Senator for South Australia
Senator Alan Ferguson
&
The University of Adelaide
Australia

31 January 2005

Adelaide site named for Australia's most advanced new radar


Mr Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Alan Ferguson, Senator for South Australia, and Prof. Robert Vincent of The University of Adelaide, today announced that the first of Australia's technologically advanced weather radars would be built at Buckland Park on the northern outskirts of Adelaide.

Mr Hunt, who has responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology, said the new Doppler Weather Radar would be developed on land owned by the University of Adelaide. The radar is expected to be operational by mid 2005.

"This is the first of six new Doppler radars as part of the Federal Government's $62 million five-year commitment to replace less powerful meteorological radar systems throughout Australia," Mr Hunt said.

"The improved quality of data provided by Doppler radars allows better detection and improved forecasting of severe weather patterns including severe thunderstorms capable of producing large hail-stones, heavy rainfall, damaging winds and tornadoes.

"It will enhance the Bureau's ability to identify major storms affecting central South Australia, and should increase the warning times directed to the community in the event of severe weather conditions."

Mr Hunt also thanked the valuable cooperation of the District Council of Mallala who approved the site.

Senator Ferguson said the new radar will enhance the quality of forecasts for Adelaide and surrounding areas and would also allow more detailed monitoring of rainfall.

"The new radar will mean better monitoring of weather fronts as they travel up from the Southern Ocean and across the Yorke Peninsula and improved radar-derived rainfall estimates across catchments in the Mount Lofty Ranges - vital as we continue to experience drought conditions," Senator Ferguson said.

"Improvements in short-term forecasting services including better tracking of wind changes will also be a significant bonus for aviation, marine and bushfire fighting communities across the greater Adelaide region."

University of Adelaide Professor of Physics, Professor Robert Vincent, said the new radar data would also be valuable in supporting the University's research program.

"The site is currently used for atmospheric physics research and the addition of the new radar data will be a major benefit to researchers in better understanding weather patterns," Prof Vincent said.

"This is an excellent opportunity for both the University and the Bureau of Meteorology and we are delighted to be working together on this," he said.

The new data will complement the imagery from the existing radar at Sellicks Hills.

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045
Senator Alan Ferguson 08 8237 7180
Dr Lisa Edwards (University of Adelaide) 08 8303 3619

Commonwealth of Australia