It’s too little too late but State KAP Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter has welcomed the news that two new weather radars will be installed within his electorate.
The new radars were announced today as part of a multimillion-dollar Federal Government budget package.
Mr Katter said the new systems would alleviate a massive radar blackspot that left locals severely flooded at Richmond, Hughenden and Georgetown in the meteorological dark during last month’s catastrophic rain event.
Mr Katter called for new radars following the flooding event that decimated the region’s livestock and native wildlife populations.
As there are no weather radars installed between Mount Isa and Townsville (and the one in Longreach regularly goes down), North West residents had to rely on word of mouth and social media updates during the floods to find out how
much rain had fallen and was expected to fall in their areas.
Mr Katter said it was unacceptable that, in their time of need, residents were not able to get access to official weather data.
He also said, as a pilot, the absence of a weather radars in the region meant he often had to rely on only sketchy information when planning flights.
“It’s more effective to check the weather the old-fashioned way by looking out your window in these parts, however that simply won’t do when it comes to major weather events like that we have just experienced,” he said.
“It’s also a very challenging issue as a pilot to counter – I always have to make phone calls to locals on the ground to see what the weather is doing.
“This does the job but I doubt it is something pilots in more highly-populated areas have to face.
“I trust that with these news radars on their way, this will all be a thing of the past but it is regrettable that it took the disastrous rain event of last month to see action on this.”