Australia — The Government is contributing $10 million to help the states and territories lease 43 firefighting aircraft, including five ‘Elvis’ helicopters.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland made the announcement yesterday at Emergency Management Australia’s Macedon headquarters in central Victoria.
He says a severe bushfire season has been predicted for Victoria.
“In the last couple of years there’s been a complete shift in philosophy of firefirefighting, previously helicopters were called in as a last resort and now they’re called in as a first resort, or very early, to try and prevent them from getting out of control,” he said.
“So it’s something we’re looking to build up, this firefighting capacity.”
Mr McClelland also visited the Macedon Ranges Primary School to launch a computer game aimed at teaching children how to respond to emergencies.
The school’s principal, John Ewels, says the children were interested in the program as well as what the Attorney-General does.
“They were very intrigued as to who or what the Attorney-General actually was,” he said.
“That was one of their major talking points, but he explained that he went to the same school as Kevin Rudd, so they went to the same school in Canberra, so then they understood.”