New equipment for firefighters, night-time aerial firefighting, enhanced strategic fire trails and improvements to local emergency infrastructure will be funded as part of the NSW Government’s response to the independent NSW Bushfire Inquiry.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott were joined by NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers AFSM, Commissioner of Resilience NSW Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM, and Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Paul Baxter at Parliament House today to announce a $192 million funding package.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the funds announced today demonstrate the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to protecting the people of NSW.
“Last season’s bushfires had a devastating effect on the whole of NSW and this funding will go a long way in ensuring we never see the same impact again,” Mr Perrottet said.
“These funds will include a suite of mental health programs across all frontline agencies as part of our commitment to support our first responders.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said that the $192 million will be allocated to protecting life, property and supporting our emergency management personnel.
“We are committed to continuing to protect the people of NSW and are funding a range of initiatives to support frontline firefighters, extending hazard reduction works, as well delivering better equipment, and support for the natural environment,” Mr Elliott said.
“We worked closely with frontline agencies to identify priorities to address key recommendations arising from the Inquiry. There is no length we won’t go to safeguard communities from disaster.”
The package of bushfire inquiry initiatives, worth $192.2 million over five years, includes:
· $36 million for a new first responder mental health strategy for emergency services
· $23 million in additional personal protective clothing for frontline firefighters
· $17 million to retrofit NSW RFS and NPWS vehicles and replace FRNSW tankers
· $8.3 million extension of an integrated dispatch system for the NSW RFS
· $9.5 million to fund initial priority works for the fire trail network
· $5.4 million enhancements to the RFS aerial fleet and training facilities
· $2.5 million improvements to NSW RFS’s Fires Near Me app
· $2.85 million to deliver critical equipment for 31 multi-agency Emergency Operations Centres
Further measures to address the Inquiry’s recommendations will be considered as part of future budget processes.
The NSW Bushfire Inquiry was commissioned by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to examine the causes, preparation and response to the devastating 2019-20 Summer Bushfires. The NSW Government has accepted the 76 recommendations.