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Disaster aerial support increased

May 24, 2024 10:36 am in by

The Federal Government will provide an additional $35 million over the next two years to the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC), which supports the delivery of national, state and territory aircraft for use by fire and emergency services.

This investment will deliver a broader range of aerial assets, moving from specific firefighting aircraft to a mix of fixed-wing and rotary multi-use assets, significantly strengthening protection for communities in Gilmore as they continue to face a more natural disasters into the future.

Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips said, since the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires that devastated South Coast, there have been calls for the government to do more.

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“Our community has been calling for a greater capability to respond to disasters since the region was impacted so badly by fires, and again by flooding, so it’s really good to see the Government continuing its commitment to keeping us safe,” Mrs Phillips said.

“These assets will be invaluable in protecting lives and property, halting the spread of fires,
allowing for rescues during floods and supporting efforts on the ground, especially in difficult to-access areas of Gilmore.

Mrs Phillips said funding announced in the 2024 budget was in addition to the considerable support the Albanese Government had invested in disaster recovery.

“This funding brings the Albanese Government’s contribution to national aerial capability to approximately $48 million a year,” she said.

“We are committed to ensuring communities are better prepared for and recover faster from natural disasters – so we can all be safer at home.

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“This is yet another step we have taken to ensure our disaster response capabilities are
strong.”

As at 31 March 2024 the fleet delivered in a long established partnership between states and territories comprises of 162 aircraft, including six large fixed wing air tankers, 15 large rotary wing aircraft, 70 medium and small rotary wing aircraft, 56 fixed wing firebombers and 15 light fixed wing aircraft.

This fleet is supplemented by additional state owned and state contracted aircraft hired to meet peak demand across Australia. In total more than 500 aircraft, provided by over 150 operators, are available for firefighting across Australia.

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