25th May, 2017
Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management
Tasmanian firefighters will receive a boost in their capability to fight fires in multi-storey buildings with the rollout of new aerial appliances – commonly known as snorkels.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is Building Tasmania’s Future by investing in a safer Tasmania, with greater fire safety a priority.
In the 2017-18 Budget, we have committed $3.75 million for the new appliances to replace three ageing vehicles in the South, the North and the North-West.
Aerial appliances are equipped with an aerial boom and platform, designed to raise firefighters to heights to enable them to rescue people or to tackle blazes in tall buildings.
Originally manufactured in the 1970s, the current snorkels have served Tasmania well, but, in spite of upgrades over the years, it is time they were replaced with new technology appliances that will enhance firefighting capabilities.
Addressing the bushfire threat to our communities continues to be a strong focus of the Liberal Government, and this Budget also delivers more funding for our Fuel Reduction Program.
Our unprecedented pre-election commitment of $28.5 million over four years for a Statewide, tenure blind program was to conclude in the coming year with the final $9 million allocated for activities in 2017-18.
This Budget will extend the program with a further $27 million over the Forward Estimates, taking our total commitment to more than $55 million by the end of 2020-21.
Fuel reduction is critical to reducing the threat of bushfires by making them easier to control, thereby reducing the potential for serious damage and increasing safety for both firefighters and the wider community.
Our tenure blind program means we are targeting both public and private land.
Over the first two years of the program, 207 fuel reduction burns were completed across the State on 39,419 hectares, including 4466 hectares of private land.
So far this year, the program has completed more than 185 burns in strategic high bushfire risk areas, with autumn burning still ongoing.
This is a program that will not only save property, it will save lives.