North Queensland now has more help to deal with the wet season now the new Greenvale doppler weather radar has gone live on the Bureau of Meteorology website.
Residents in the region have had to rely on weather updates from the Townsville weather radar, which leaves blind spots that some have said exacerbated the effect of the 2019 North Queensland flood disaster.
After the floods the prime minister committed $77m to several new radars including Greenvale and one in the Richmond area which will come online in 2022.
KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said the Greenvale radar would provide valuable weather advice to people in the Burdekin sub-basin as well as parts of the Flinders, Gilbert, Mitchell, and Herbert River catchments and towns including Charters Towers, Georgetown, Ingham, and Mount Garnet would benefit.
Mr Katter said the new radar was badly needed as it will provide more precise information on weather events, and will enable farmers, fishermen and other outdoor workers to make important choices in response to weather.
"North Queensland is a place of extremes. We have flooding rains, cyclones and powerful squalls which come in out of the blue with little to no notice. In 2019, half a million livestock were lost during severe flooding from a monsoonal rain event," Mr Katter said.
"Farmers, mining camps, ships at sea, residents and tourists all use these services to prepare and proactively manage risks.
"Up here, even 10 minutes could mean the difference between a life and a death and working radars are an absolute essential service."
Mr Katter praised the BOM for the service they provide the north.
"The only reason we haven't had a death so far is because of the access to forewarnings," he said.
"There is still work to be done on the intermittent failures being reported to my office, and I'll continue to put pressure on the Government to see these rectified."
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