The construction and installation of the first of three new Doppler radars planned for regional WA has been completed, at Newdegate.
Local Member Terry Waldron said this investment in radar technology would assist WA’s agricultural sector with critical decision-making and would help ensure the sector remained internationally competitive into the future.
Mr Waldron said the State Government had invested $23 million through the Royalties for Regions program in Doppler radar technology to help positively transform the State’s farms and regions.
Doppler radars provide data on rainfall and significant wind changes across an area up to 200 kilometres from the radar location.
“Doppler radars will allow our local farm businesses to observe real-time rainfall and wind events across their properties,” he said.
“Access to timely information is really important for farmers, to assist them to make informed decisions all year round.”
Nationals WA candidate for Roe Peter Rundle said research supporting the Doppler radar project had estimated that, based on more timely spray applications alone, radars could produce a return of more than $6 for every $1 invested.
The Newdegate Doppler radar is expected to be operational by the end of October.
Radar information will be delivered to farmers through the Bureau of Meteorology’s website, though the bureau and the Department of Agriculture and Food are currently working on applications to deliver information directly to farm businesses.
Mr Waldron said the Royalties for Regions investment into Doppler technology was important in terms of providing more precise weather information for farm businesses and rural communities.
“This information will benefit farmers, the wider community and emergency services,” he said.
The other two Doppler radars, which form part of this project, will be installed at South Doodlakine and Watheroo, with all three expected to be operational by mid-2017.