I am disturbed at the information the media are getting from senior ministers, and from unnamed or non-official sources, claiming great difficulties in detecting wooden boats moving in stormy weather across large areas of ocean.

An impression is being created that Australia's $1800 million  long-range radar detection system covering Australia's northern maritime approaches, JORN -- a crucial asset in the defence of Australia against maritime or air intrusions of any kind, including terrorism -- is unreliable at such times. This might be politically convenient in the Christmas Island tragedy context, but it is not sustained by a simple study of publicly accessible facts. See the Google Wikipedia entry on radar, a detailed technical article, and the Department of Defence DMO and Wikipedia articles on JORN.