Australia — Councils will be able to apply for federal assistance to improve their bushfire trails following the announcement of $5 million in funding under the Bushfire Mitigation Program (BMP).
The Federal Government program, first launched in 2004 with $15 million allocated over three years, helps fund construction, maintenance and signage works on Australias extensive network of bushfire trails. Last year the program was extended for another four years until 2011, with $20 million available nationally.
This week the Government announced $5 million in funding for the 2008-09 BMP and Attorney-General Robert McClelland is urging councils and government agencies to apply to the program. Applications close June 30.
The Bushfire Mitigation Program brings together State fire suppression and land management agencies with local governments to identify and address the most critical fire trail works. Through building and maintaining fire trails, the program complements existing fire risk management activities around Australia and works in conjunction with State and Territory bushfire mitigation priorities and assessment procedures.
Bushfires are part and parcel of Australian life, Mr McClelland says.
This makes it imperative to ensure that when bushfires hit, firefighters can get to the scene quickly and safely.