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Cloud seeding must be given another try, says Labor



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H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

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J O I N T P R E S S R E L E A S E F R O M B A R R Y J O N E S , S H A D O W M I N I S T E R F O R S C I E N C E A N D T E C H N O L O G Y , A N D J O H N K E R I N , S H A D O W M I N I S T E R F O R P R I M A R Y I N D U S T R Y

CLOUD SEEDING MUST BE GIVEN ANOTHER TRY, SAYS LABOR

"CSIRO's cloud seeding program, terminated by the Fraser govern ment in 1981, will be given appropriate funding as an emergency measure in an attempt to break the drought", the Labor Party announced today in a joint statement by the Shadow Ministers

for Science and Technology (Barry Jones) and Primary Industry (John Kerin).

"The drought situation is so acute that no opportunity to create rain can be lost.

"Dr E.G. Bowen, one of Australia's most famous scientists and former head of the CSIRO's radio physics division, has called on the Labor Party to provide emergency funding for cloud seeding. Dr Bowen points out that cloud configuration over New South Wales over the past week has been exactly the type which have proved valuable in past cloud seeding operations.

"The CSIRO cloud seeding operation began in 1952. Dr Bowen says that over the first 20 years the project provided modest success. However, for the last 10 years, the project was strangled. Funds and aircraft were grossly inadequate.

"It was an act of criminal stupidity by the Fraser government to end cloud seeding at the onset of the worst drought in Australia's history.

"The Labor Party will restore the cloud seeding project as an emergency measure until the drought is broken. The long term future of the project will then be considered by Cabinet.

"As a short term measure the incoming Labor government will provide $500,000 for cloud seeding.

"The breaking of the drought is a national priority which we cannot fail to take up the challenge", Mr Jones and Mr Kerin said. .

Canberra

28 February 1983