Ready: rain, hail or shine

BLACKTOWN is on the map.

Nine News recently became the first TV program to include Blacktown in its weather forecast.

Residents can thank councillor Tony Bleasdale, who pushed for the idea late last year, for convincing Channel Nine to adopt the idea.

"We are the biggest city in western Sydney," Cr Bleasdale said. "Half of Sydney's population is west of Parramatta.

"Campbelltown, Liverpool, Penrith, Parramatta, Kellyville and Richmond are included in the weather forecasts. We're right in the middle but never get a mention.

"It could be raining in Penrith but sunny in Blacktown.

"We need to protect our residents against gales and high fire dangers so they can put safety precautions in place."

He said the city could no longer be ignored.

"It's recognition Blacktown exists and is on the map," Cr Bleasdale said. "People will no longer be asking, 'Where the bloody hell is Blacktown?'

"This is great for the people of Blacktown, who need to know what the weather will be tomorrow."

Independent Russ Dickens described the move as "down to earth thinking".

"This is where the action is," he said at last week's council meeting.

Community feedback had been very positive, a council spokeswoman said.

Councillor Tony Bleasdale's job isn't finished yet: he wants other TV stations to follow suit.

"I now expect the same respect from the other channels," he said.

"Nine News should be congratulated on putting a city that has 320,000 people on the map. The other channels and daily press need to understand that we do exist in Blacktown and that our residents need to be informed."

There's no word as to when St Marys-Mount Druitt will be included on the weather map.

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