Extra funds to get bushfire ready

Extra funds to get bushfire ready

18 December 2009

published by www.abc.net.au

Australia —

Tasmania’s Fire Service has received an extra $5 million to prepare for bushfire seasons.

The package includes $2 million over three years for Community Protection Plans.

There are also 16 new Parks and Wildlife firefighting jobs and better equipment for volunteer brigades.

The Premier David Bartlett says the package heeds lessons from the deadly Victorian bushfires last summer.

“It does have the hallmarks of a very challenging summer for us,” he said.

The Fire Service Chief Officer, Mike Brown, has welcomed $1.5 million for the Infrastructure Department and councils to clear roadside vegetation.

“I know they’re doing a lot about it, In travelling around I do see a lot of slashing being done,” he said.

The Fire Service is also preparing refuge centres in fire-prone areas.

“There’ll be some of those provided in communities across the state,” he said.

“The other matter is for neighbourhood safer places and they’ll be much more basic, usually.

“They probably won’t have amenities, they won’t have fresh water.

“But it’s a place that will be clear of bushfire fuel and it’ll be a place where people can seek some refuge, if they’ve left their decision too late about leaving.”

He expects the fire season to peak later than usual because of heavy rain.

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