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Wimmera weather radar back on track

Ralph Kenyon, Wimmera Development Association.

Ralph Kenyon, Wimmera Development Association.

Experts responsible for installing three new weather radar stations in Western Australia’s farming wheatbelt will work on a similar project in the Wimmera-Mallee.
They will be part of a team that finally starts work on a Wimmera Doppler Weather Radar Project.
The project, despite being part of regional planning since 2011 and winning government funding two years ago, has been plagued by significant administrative delays.
A project working group has ordered the radar and expects to shore up details surrounding its location in the next month.
Wimmera Development Association executive director Ralph Kenyon said the association was working with the Bureau of Meteorology and Agriculture Victoria on the project.
“We have some work to do on site assessment, which will happen during the next month, and as soon as we have firmed up on a site we will work on a lease and other details,” he said.
“We’re expecting work to start later this year.
“The site options we have available to us will certainly provide coverage for the whole radar blackspot area across the Wimmera and southern Mallee.
“We are certainly moving forward with the project after delays and a need to find alternative sites after early explorations.
“Wimmera Development Association alone has been working on the project since 2011, but community interest was there long before that.
“We’ve taken a while to get this far with this project but it is now moving rapidly towards achieving the outcome we’re looking for.”
The association developed a business case for the project and the State Government provided $5-million and the Federal Government $3.2 to $4-million to cover commissioning and annual operation and maintenance costs.
Mr Kenyon said real-time access to weather forecasting in the region would be a major boost for regional agricultural productivity and development.
“It will provide accurate, comprehensive and critical weather information that allows farmers to make timely operational decisions,” he said.
“That will lead to increased productivity.”
Real-time weather information will also help regional emergency services deal with natural disasters such as fires and floods.

The entire July 18, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Jul 18 2018

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