Budget funding completes Fire and Rescue New South Wales bushfire inquiry recommendations
A further investment in Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) will complete the New South Wales Government’s response to its Bushfire Inquiry recommendations, which now totals $80 million in funding for the emergency service organisation. Treasurer Matt Kean said the final instalment of funding for FRNSW in response to the inquiry into the 2019-20 Black Summer fires is an important milestone in the NSW Government’s commitment to learn all lessons and implement all findings from the deadly bush fires.
“We know how important it is to protect our communities by making sure our frontline of emergency response is equipped to handle whatever comes its way,” Kean said.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke, said a further $9 million in this week’s Budget will provide 16 new bush fire tankers to overhaul an ageing FRNSW fleet.
“Two years on from the Black Summer bush fires which ravaged the State, we can proudly say we have delivered on the findings of the Bushfire Inquiry to equip FRNSW with the resources it needs to keep communities safer from future bush fire threats,” Ms Cooke said.
“One of the key recommendations made by the Inquiry was to replace FRNSW’s 22-year-old fleet of bushfire tankers. We have already funded 18 state-of-the-art tankers, fitted with cabin protection and Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFs), which will be ready to enter service for the upcoming bush fire season. The additional funding for 16 more tankers means FRNSW will be armed with an entirely new fleet of modern, advanced and environmentally-friendly fire trucks to better respond to whatever bush fire threats emerge.”
The new tankers are multi-purpose Isuzu four-wheel drives, equipped with a ‘halo’ water spray system and a 3 500-litre water tank. They will enable crews to access difficult terrain during bush fires and other emergencies, offering greater protection to fire fighters as well as the communities they serve.
This includes a suite of FRNSW projects, such as:
FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter thanked the NSW Government for its thorough response to the Inquiry recommendations. “With this investment, Fire and Rescue NSW will be better prepared to support the community and our fire fighters to prevent, prepare and recover from emergencies and other incidents”, said Paul Baxter, Commissioner, Fire and Rescue New South Wales.
Source: Paul Baxter, Commissioner, Fire and Rescue New South Wales