THE unprecedented flood in north west Queensland has prompted renewed calls for a Bureau of Meteorology weather radar in the southern Gulf.
The hardest hit regions in the mid-north west had little prior warning to the scale of the event and accurate records of the rainfall have been unable to be kept due to the region being in a radar blackspot.
Flinders Shire Council Mayor Jane McNamara said the closest weather stations active for the entire event were in Townsville, Cairns and Mount Isa, with Longreach offline due to technical difficulties.
"We were right on the outer edge of Longreach and Townsville, there is no radar in the area at all that we can use with any accuracy," Cr McNamara said.
"Let's face it, it is not going to stop it raining but at least we could have warning as to how much is on the way."
Cr McNamara said several years ago when Ingham had severe flooding, Einasleigh and Georgetown were also impacted, but there was no accurate record of the severity.
"It is imperative that we get brought into the 21st Century."
Cr McNamara raised the issue with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack who toured the region on Saturday.
Mr McCormack has since acknowledged that better radar facilities were needed in the area.
"I think when you’ve got a blackspot there involving Richmond, Hughenden and Georgetown, the radar facilities went down," Mr McCormack said.
"They need to know forecasting… even in good times but certainly in bad times when the radar doesn’t work because of technical difficulties in this day and age, it needs to be better than that I’ll be bringing that forward with the Prime Minister.
"Well, we’re certainly going to look at that as far as part of our what we do going forward.
"We need to make sure that we have the best available data for these people for when these sorts of monsoonal troughs hover overhead and are approaching and we need to make sure that people are better informed."
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