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Work Underway to Help Protect Australia from Bushfires

Source: The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston
Archived 10 Mar 2017 - Posted: 13 Jan 2017
Bushfires are a fact of life in Australia and they can be devastating for the communities in its path. While our firefighters do a fantastic job, we all need to be ready.

Minister Keenan said the Australian Government works with the states and territories, as first responders to natural disasters, to help our bushfire risk communities be better prepared.

“But we cannot be complacent. That’s why the Government is always working to identify innovative ways to reduce the risk of dangerous bushfires, including our commitment of $1.5 million in funding to establish a Mechanical Bushfire Fuel Load Reduction Trial,” Mr Keenan said.

“The trial is part of the Government’s $15 million National Bushfire Mitigation Program, which aims to build on the states and territories existing fire management practices, and to implement new strategies to address risks.”

Minister Ruston said the Mechanical Bushfire Fuel Load Reduction Trials will assist in developing new fire prevention and management tools to help mitigate the devastating impact of bushfires.

“At the moment we are quite reliant on prescribed burns to manage fuel loads, which need the right weather conditions, create smoke haze, and often can’t be undertaken close to conservation areas vulnerable to fire,” Ms Ruston said.

“These trials will identify alternatives to current methods, to improve fuel load management in our public forests and help build a more disaster resilient Australia.”

The trials are currently underway in the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, East Gippsland in Victoria and the South-West region of Western Australia, and will build on the work the Government is already doing to better prepare Australia for bushfires, including:

  • $52 million over two years for the National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience, which is matched by the states through funding or in-kind resources.
  • $47 million over eight years in the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.
  • More than $6.8 million over three years for the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience.
  • $14.8 million each year to the National Aerial Firefighting Centre, which in 2016/17 will provide 127 specialised firefighting aircraft across Australia, including six Erickson Aircranes.

For more information on the National Bushfire Mitigation Program, visit https://www.ag.gov.au/EmergencyManagement/Resilience-funding/National-Bushfire-Mitigation-Program or for information about the trials, visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/national/nbmp

 
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