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MP fears cuts to outback aerodrome forecasting services

Wednesday February 6, 2013 - 14:34 EDT

A western Queensland federal MP says air safety could be at risk if proposed cuts are made to aerodrome forecasting services in remote areas.

The Member for Maranoa, Bruce Scott, says a Bureau of Meteorology review has recommended cutting forecasting equipment at 78 regional and remote locations.

Mr Scott says while the review was at the request of the aviation industry, it remains vital for pilots to have accurate weather information or lives could be at risk.

"Places like Barcaldine, Blackall, Cunnamulla, Quilpie, Thargomindah, Windorah and Winton, all out in western Queensland and what that would mean is that all those automatic weather forecasting stations would no longer be transmitting the information regarding the weather at that location," he said.

"I am not going to stand by and see this happen. I just think this is sheer madness."

The Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability, Don Farrell, says aviation weather services are funded by the aviation industry and feedback is being sought on a draft report until the end of March.

"These services have already been funded by the [aviation] industry. The Federal Government has not been involved in any way in withdrawing funding for these services

"The purposes of a review is to make an assessment, so I don't think we should prejudge the inquiry's results but the important point to make is the Federal Government is not withdrawing any funding, it doesn't intend to withdraw funding."


© ABC 2013

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