Construction has officially begun on a $24.5 million project to build the first of three Doppler radars for Western New South Wales at Brewarrina Airport.
The radars will provide farmers, emergency services crews and communities across Western New South Wales with access to real-time weather data.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the new radar in Brewarrina was the first of three Doppler radars coming to Western NSW, with the other two to be built in the Parkes and Hillston-Ivanhoe regions.
“The radars will be able to detect rain drops, hail, bushfire plumes, rain intensity, and wind velocity – vastly improving real-time weather services for the community.
“At the moment there is a significant gap with Western NSW communities having limited access to real-time weather information, but I am thrilled that work to build this critical infrastructure has now begun.
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“The radars will boost business efficiency by providing rainfall data as well as wind observations to regional communities and primary producers, arming them with critical information to base farm management decisions on.
Agriculture and Western NSW Minister Adam Marshall said once the radars were complete, local farmers would have access to much more accurate weather data, allowing them to make the most of incoming rain and make better and more timely on-farm decisions.
“Experts will be able to pass on vital weather observations from up to 200 kilometres away, including towns as far as Cobar, Pilliga and over the Queensland border,” he said.
“Rain is the lifeblood of farming communities out west, so by giving them crucial data sooner, local producers will be able to make more informed decisions to improve crop yields and lower their input costs.
“These three new stations mean NSW will soon have eight Doppler radars and almost every corner of country NSW is covered, especially in Western NSW, which currently has no radar coverage.”
The radars will be part of more than 60 weather radars operated by the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology.
It is expected that the new Brewarrina Doppler radar will be operational by October 2020.