Victoria, Australia, to invest AU$21.6M in bushfire protection, actions include expansion of prescribed burn program, upgrades to firefighting airbases, bridges and roads

MELBOURNE, Australia , April 30, 2014 (press release) – The Victorian Coalition Government continues to deliver on its commitment to boost bushfire protection in Victoria with $21.6 million to be invested.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said that the Coalition Government funding will build fire access roads, bridges and airbases, upgrade firefighting vehicles and boost the capacity of fire management teams.

“The Coalition Government is delivering $11.6 million in this year's budget so that more people, more often, will be at the ready to respond during fire season,” Mr Smith said.

“Incident Management Teams are the best in the business and get information rapidly to fire affected or at risk communities.

“The need for Incident Management Teams was a clear and specific recommendation of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, but Labor decided to only fund it for the short term.

“The Coalition Government is building fire protection for the long term and will provide ongoing recurrent funding.

“The Coalition Government will also provide $10 million over two years to upgrade key firefighting airbases, improve forest tracks and bridges, and modernise the firefighting vehicle fleet.

“Upgrading our fire truck equipment, air bases, bridges and roads will help our teams as they fight bushfires, as well as contributing to the increased planned burning program.

“The Coalition Government is committed to implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations in full and this commitment is part of the Coalition Government’s $330 million land and fire management program.”

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