AUSTRALIA – Bundaberg Regional Council will have greater capacity to build bushfire preparedness and resilience after receiving a grant for mobile firefighting equipment.
The $178,000 grant was announced in the latest round of support aimed at assisting economic and social recovery in communities impacted by the 2019 Queensland Bushfires.
Local Disaster Management Group chair Mayor Jack Dempsey said the equipment would improve Council’s ability to undertake fire management activities.
“The mobile firefighting equipment will be used by Council to support the efforts of the Rural Fire Brigade and contractors to maintain the region’s bushfire resilience,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“As we know all too well, the devastating effect of bushfires can cause economic, social and environmental impacts.
“This equipment will mean we have the right tools on hand to undertake fire management activities, which could include things like hazard reduction burns, fire line management and fire breaks.
“By practicing responsible bushfire management on Council-owned land we can work with adjoining property owners and the Rural Fire Brigade to reduce potential fire hazards.”
Officers are also in discussions with Traditional Owners within the region regarding partnering with Council to practice cultural and sustainable land management.
Mayor Dempsey said the equipment would not sit idle outside of fire season.
“We see a secondary opportunity to use this equipment to keep our region green,” he said.
“In coming years our goal is to plant one million trees right across the region.
“This equipment would also be able to support the One Million Trees Bundaberg program by ensuring we keep the water up to these newly planted trees when it isn’t being used for controlled burns.”
In announcing the funding, Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said a number of Queensland communities were severely impacted by the 2019 bushfires.
“The Australian and Queensland Governments have vowed to support these communities on their recovery journey and we are pleased to provide this funding, which will offer a welcomed economic boost and improve resilience,” Mr Littleproud said.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA), Steven Miles, said the projects included a range of activities.
“We know from experience that each and every community faces different challenges and has different priorities on their recovery journeys and we are pleased to provide support for that,” Mr Miles said.
The mobile firefighting equipment grant was funded through the Local Economic Recovery Program (LER), jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.