A notorious weather blackspot unable to retrieve river or rainfall data is set to be covered by four new radars.
North-west Queensland residents have been calling for more weather technology to fill in large gaps between Mount Isa and Townsville — the epicentre of the devastating floods from February's monsoon.
The Federal Government has announced a $28 million weather monitoring allocation, which will include new radars at Oakey, Taroom, Maxwelton, and Charters Towers.
Minister for the Environment, Melissa Price, said the radars would be able to provide accurate flood advice for an area that had been previously left in the dark.
"The Bureau of Meteorology will now be able to provide more advice for farmers moving livestock," Ms Price said.
The announcement has been welcomed by graziers across the North West, unable to get accurate flood advice during recent weather events.
Future hope for graziers in floodplains
Rob Ievers lost most of his 3,500 head of Santa Gertrudis during February on Winchester Station, south of Richmond.
As the Flinders River runs through Winchester, Mr Ievers relies heavy on information for river conditions.
"Once upon a time, we were a reporting station for the Flinders River sent to the Bureau of Meteorology," Mr Ievers said.
"You could see with those floods last month, that amount of water affects everyone right up to the Gulf."
The extra coverage across the North West blackspot will allow graziers such as Rob Ievers to move cattle to higher ground before severe weather and flooding persists.
"If you tune into the television weather, it's absolutely hopeless because they focus on the eastern seaboard — not us," Mr Ievers said.
"If you can log on to the radar sights, especially the Maxwelton one, that will be absolutely fantastic news for our stations."
Flinders Shire Mayor and grazier Jane McNamara was excited for the data after the shire was isolated by floodwaters in February.
"Obviously it's a huge issue when you have major river systems like the Flinders with absolutely no radar," she said.
Flinders Shire is on the periphery of the Townsville and Mount Isa radars, and too far from the Longreach radar.
Weather radars such as Mount Isa's doppler can detect the intensity of rainfall within a 150-kilometre radius, which in turn can analyse storm structures and potential severe weather.
Unlike Mount Isa, Longreach's dedicated weather watch radar is updated every 10 minutes with detailed rainfall information leaving gaps of data between it and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
"There was really no data apart from what we could do with rain gauges and talking to people on Facebook," Ms McNamara said.
"This is a big win for us, the Government has listened after the floods."
However, the weather monitoring funding does not include plans to staff the Bureau of Meteorology Mount Isa branch.
The remote office was automated in 2016, which has caused local criticism for its lack of weather knowledge.
"It's always a problem when they automate these things, so we'll be following up on that," Ms McNamara said.
More weather information left in the dark
Meanwhile, the announcement comes as the Longreach weather radar continues to be out of action — during one of the most significant weather events for the west in years.
As ex-Tropical Cyclone Trevor moves across Western Queensland, this will be the second rain event to leave the Longreach area in the dark with weather information.
The Bureau of Meteorology's Harry Clarke said the outage was more down to coincidence.
"The technicians are very aware it's less than ideal with the timing of this event," Mr Clarke said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has put the outage down to a power issue, with the radar to be back online within days.
"I think it is not caused by the rain, but we do really apologise and do share the frustration," he said.ABC