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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 May 1995) . . Page.. 314 ..


MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Kaine for his question, which does raise a very important question not just about providing facilities for people across this Territory on a basis that is appropriate to their needs, but also about what kind of policy the Opposition is pursuing in attacking decisions made by the Government of the ACT, irrespective of who might be in the Ministry. I announced last week that the Government and the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology will develop an automated weather station in Tuggeranong. The cost of that to the ACT will be about $40,000, which is a significant sum of money, I concede. That includes equipment costs, the land itself, site works and a share of the communication costs. The costs to the bureau will be the operating costs of the site, service and maintenance, and ongoing running costs. Over the next 10 years that is estimated to be something in the order of $100,000. So, we are providing a service in Tuggeranong the cost of which is principally being borne by the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology.

The question was asked: Why have it in Tuggeranong? The reason is that there is a different climatology from the airport and city weather stations, particularly in relation to wind flow, smoke, and pollution dispersal, and there is a growing sense of community in Tuggeranong which I think deserves to have recognition with a set of statistics that are relevant to the needs of that particular area. I note that the two Labor members for Brindabella are keeping their heads very nicely down during this one.

I think I can best summarise the arguments for this matter by quoting a letter I have received from Mr Gavin O'Brien from an organisation called Southside Weather Watch, which is a private, non-profit organisation monitoring weather and microclimate activity in Tuggeranong. Volunteers man this organisation. He explains the reason for this. He says in a press release he has issued:

I am quite annoyed at the ignorance shown by the Deputy Opposition Leader as there is a vast difference between a weather station and an air quality station. A Weather station measures Wind Direction, velocity, temperature, Dew Point/Relative Humidity and atmospheric pressure. Air Quality Stations Measure Carbon Monoxide, Atmospheric Lead Levels, Visible pollution, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone and Suspended Particulates.

Without Meteorological Data it is not possible to understand why certain weather patterns allow higher pollution levels than at other times. It is also important to be able to warn residents when pollution levels are likely to be high and the location of at risk areas.

... ... ...

I am extremely disappointed that political point scoring has blurred the need for this Station and study and hope Mr Berry will check with people with some knowledge of the issue before commenting in future.


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