The Andrews Labor Government will create the first real-time weather radar in the Wimmera to address rain radar blackspots and improve farmer productivity.
Today in Wycheproof, Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaala Pulford and Minister for Environment, Water and Climate Change Lisa Neville, announced support for the Doppler weather radar – a first for the Wimmera.
In November last year, the Labor Government provided a $15,000 grant for the Wimmera Development Association to establish a business case to have a real-time radar in the local regional area.
This study has now been successfully completed and the Labor Government announced that the weather radar will be one of the first funded projects under the Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund.
The Labor Government has committed up to $5 million towards capital costs whilst the Federal Government will cover commissioning costs of $3.25 million, along with all annual operating and maintenance costs for the next 15 years, which will cover the life of the station.
The Wimmera and Southern Mallee areas are major food and fibre producing regions and the Wimmera Doppler Weather Radar Project has the potential to deliver significant economic benefits to the region.
Access to within-day forecasts will help primary producers make better decisions about time-critical activities, such as fertiliser and herbicide applications.
The need for improved weather services, including a radar station has been identified as a priority at all levels for many years and that’s why the Labor Government is getting on with addressing the deficiency.
The recently completed business case showed the potential for significant cost savings and increased productivity due to better informed farming decisions. The flow on effect will mean higher crop yields, improved returns on farm investment and larger export volumes.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Farmers in the Wimmera have been calling for the real time weather radar for almost ten years – we are proud to back the local community and give farmers all the available tools at their disposal.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict the weather, particularly for our farmers in the Wimmera Mallee region – the Andrews Labor Government is delighted that we are finally able to get this radar built.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Water and Climate Change Lisa Neville
“We are backing valuable infrastructure projects in drought-affected regional Victorian communities to ensure they stay strong, resilient and continue to the lead way in food and fibre production.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020