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NSW Government increases funds for bushfire preparedness

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The NSW Government will commit $315.2 million over the next four years to help fortify communities against bushfires.

The allocated funds fulfil recommendations set by the NSW Bushfire Inquiry. The inquiry was commissioned after severe bushfires in 2019-2020 overwhelmed the state’s fire service.

$191 million will be dedicated to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to ensure at-risk communities are effectively prepared for bushfire threats.

Premier Dominic Perrottet says the investment will go a long way to protecting communities that have recently faced extreme fires.

“The devastating Black Summer of 2019-20 had a lasting impact on communities right across our state, which is why the NSW Government is committed to finalising the Government’s response to the Bushfire Inquiry,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This investment will go a long way to ensuring the more than 1.3 million properties on bushfire prone land in our state are better prepared for future fire seasons.”

Treasurer Matt Kean says the boost will increase the Government’s spend on bushfire protection to $830 million.

“By beefing up our emergency services, like the RFS, we are ensuring people across our state are better prepared for the challenges we face from natural disasters,” Mr Kean said.

Funds aim to revitalise firefighters' resources, which have been exhausted by intensive bushfire seasons in past years.

“The safety of our firefighters who put themselves on the line to protect families, homes, businesses and the environment is paramount,” Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said.

“The funding for the RFS includes $105.6 million to deliver new trucks and retrofit old trucks, $75.4 million to significantly boost the number of mitigation crews and $10 million to enhance strategic fire trails.”

RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers says the investment will ensure firefighters are equipped to protect local communities.

“Being prepared and having the right resources is so important and this investment from the NSW Government will strengthen our crews in the lead up to the next and future fire seasons,” Mr Rogers said.

“Previous funding to address the NSW Bushfire Inquiry has enabled the RFS to purchase and refurbish hundreds of trucks, with the 400th truck due to roll off the production line within weeks.”