- Coastal Doppler radar installations to provide expanded coverage
- Part of a State Government investment through Royalties for Regions
Coastal communities and agricultural businesses will benefit from the Liberal National Government's $5 million investment, announced today, to upgrade weather monitoring services at Albany and Geraldton to Doppler radar capability.
The Bureau of Meteorology has committed to support the initiative and agreed to install a Doppler radar to replace the existing radar at the Esperance weather station.
Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the coastal upgrade would complement a $23 million investment to provide Doppler radar coverage across the Grainbelt.
"The Doppler radar coverage, combined with data from the Department of Agriculture and Food's network of 175 weather stations, will provide agricultural producers with the most comprehensive weather network in the southern hemisphere," Mr Lewis said.
"The radars generate valuable data on rainfall intensity and a map of wind speed towards or away from the radar, updated every six minutes on the Bureau's and the department's websites, which will assist crucial farm management decisions, saving businesses time and money.
"The department is working on integrating the Doppler radar information into new technology and applications that will enable agribusinesses to boost productive capacity."
The State's previous investment in Doppler radar coverage, through Royalties for Regions, included the new Newdegate site and another at South Doodlakine that will be operational by early March 2017. Construction of another new facility at Watheroo has commenced with the radar due to be operational in April 2017. All three Doppler radars will be fully operational and ready for the 2017 growing season.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Doppler radar coverage would also boost the emergency response capacity of regional communities.
"Radar coverage will provide invaluable information to emergency services, especially when confronted with severe bushfires or impending storms, when real-time data is crucial to response strategies," Mr Redman said.
"This is another example of how Royalties for Regions investment is helping to secure our State's future by continuing to provide opportunities for growth that will provide long-term benefits to regional communities."
The coastal Doppler radar upgrades are expected to be operational in 2019.
- Research supporting the Doppler radar project estimates that, based on more timely spray applications alone, radars could produce a return of more than $6 for every $1 invested
- The State Government's $5 million investment in Doppler technology is part of the $75 million Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Fund through the $350 million Royalties for Regions Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative
- Investment in strategic agriculture infrastructure projects was identified as a priority in the Infrastructure Audit Report: Evaluation of Western Australia's Agriculture Infrastructure Priorities available at http://www.drd.wa.gov.au
- Find out more about Royalties for Regions at https://rfrmap.drd.wa.gov.au
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700