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$17.6 million bushfire mitigation and Fire Service support package

12 November 2020

Mark Shelton MP

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

2020-21 Budget: $17.6M bushfire mitigation and Fire Service support package

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safe from the threat of bushfires, which is why we are investing in a comprehensive package of mitigation initiatives in the 2020-21 Budget.

This Budget delivers $8 million for the State Fire Commission, including an additional $4 million in 2021-22 for the creation a new division in the Tasmania Fire Service to manage the planning and response to bushfire, as well as delivering on our commitment to offset the freezes we made to the Fire Service Levy earlier this year as part of our COVID-19 response.

In addition to this, $9.3 million has been provided to bolster the Government’s Fuel Reduction Program, which will see the appointment of 12 additional crew this month to undertake more strategic fuel reduction burning and mechanical risk reduction activities.

The Government will also build on the success of its Red Hot Tips program, through a further $295,000 investment, in recognition that a key part of bushfire management is empowering landholders to actively manage bushfire risk on their own property. The program aims to educate, engage and support farmers and rural landholders to understand and actively manage their bushfire risk and to encourage even greater collaboration.

These initiatives combined will lead to a total of 31 new positions for the Tasmania Fire Service, including a new Deputy Chief Officer responsible for planning and capability, fuel reduction teams, a volunteer support role and experts in bushfire response.

This year’s State Budget builds on the important work we have already done, with more resources than ever to respond to any bushfires that do occur. This season we will have;

  • An additional 30 remote area firefighters from our volunteer cohort, in addition to the 100 career firefighters already trained, to enhance our remote area capability and improve our capacity to deal with fires in remote and difficult terrain;
  • An increase in our prepositioned firefighting aircraft by over 50 per cent to keep bushfires small until ground crews arrive; and
  • Completed 186 fuel reduction burns in strategic locations to protect Tasmanian communities.

This Stage Budget will deliver on the Tasmanian Government’s clear plan for bushfire prevention because we know that when landowners, industry, farmers, and the wider community are supported in this way, all Tasmanians will be safer from the threat of bushfire.