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Joint Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Mr Barry Haase MP
Federal Member for Kalgoorlie

5 October 2006

Improved weather services for WA south coast

Farmers, fishermen and other local residents of the south-coast of Western Australia are set to benefit from improved weather forecasting.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, announced the Bureau of Meteorology will provide separate forecasts for two new districts in the region.

Mr Hunt said the districts would be created by the splitting of the Southern Coastal District in Western Australia.

"The new districts will be South Coastal, which will centre on Albany, and Southeast Coastal, which will centre on Esperance," Mr Hunt said.

"The changes have been created by dividing the former district along a north-south line meeting the coast at Bremer Bay. These new districts were developed in consultation with local councils and will come into operation from 16 October.

"The former Southern Coastal District extended more than 800 km from west to east. The weather in that region is often complex and difficult to describe clearly as it moves across such a large area. The smaller districts will allow a better description of the forecast weather and aid community understanding of the forecasts.

"I want to congratulate the Federal Member for Kalgoorlie, Barry Haase, who highlighted this issue with me and helped to bring about positive changes for local weather forecasting."

Mr Haase said he took the matter to Mr Hunt after being contacted by local residents.

"I highlighted to Mr Hunt the value to the community of more effective weather services possible through splitting of the old Southern Coastal Forecast District.

"This is a good outcome for the many of us who rely on quality weather forecasts."

Maps showing the new district boundaries can be accessed via the Bureau's web site

Media Contact:
John Deller (Mr Hunt's office) 0400 496 596
Sam Dalton (Mr Haase's office) 0407 379 622

Commonwealth of Australia