Tasmania’s firefighting armoury has been given a powerful boost with the launch today of its aerial firefighting fleet.

The fleet was launched in Hobart by Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz, representing the Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor, and Tasmanian Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Rene Hidding.

Seven aircraft from the national aerial fleet will be based in Tasmania for the 2017/18 bushfire season.

The fleet is jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC), which coordinates the sharing of resources around the country.

Minister Taylor said the Commonwealth’s annual investment of $14.8 million provided a major boost to the emergency response efforts of states and territories.

“This cooperative national approach achieves the best outcome for the Tasmanian community and provides tremendous support for firefighters on the ground,” Minister Taylor said.

“By pooling our resources, governments in all jurisdictions ensure Australians are protected by a sophisticated aerial firefighting capability and get best value for money.”

Minister Hidding said that investment in the national aerial firefighting fleet was an important component in protecting the Tasmanian community during the bushfire season.

“While we have invested heavily in fuel reduction since coming to Government in 2014, you can never be too prepared,” Minister Hidding said. 

“The national aerial fleet has supported firefighting efforts on the ground over past bushfire seasons, including the bushfires of 2013-14 and the fires in the World Heritage area in 2016.”

Senator Abetz said that a national fleet of more than 120 specialised aircraft were positioned to support firefighters on the ground.

“The national arrangements provide firefighters across the country with specialised resources and valuable access to surge capacity. A national, coordinated and cooperative effort is the key to enhancing Australia’s disaster resilience.”

About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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