I welcome the Commonwealth-State joint-funding announcement of $2.59 million in projects to help better protect New South Wales (NSW) communities from the threat of bush fire.
This funding commitment will contribute $300,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service for aerial firefighting supply tanks in the Warrumbungle, Moree Plains, Narromine, Gwydir and Narrabri local government areas.
These supply tanks form part of 43 projects being funded across NSW which will support efforts to manage bush fire risks across the state.
All projects are jointly supported by Commonwealth-State Government funding and contributions from recipients under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program which has provided NSW with $13.5 million since 2014.
Sadly there are many residents across the federal electorate of Parkes who know all too well the devastation and grief that comes with bush fires across Western NSW. Natural disasters can have an enormous impact on our economy and cripple businesses and communities.
I am grateful for the increase in aerial firefighting supply tanks being provided to our areas. These will go some way to assisting local communities to be more resilient and better prepared to prevent and lessen the impact of future bushfires.
Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan said the program had approved 19 fire trails and aerial firefighting supply tanks at 24 regional airstrips across NSW to provide easier access and more rapid response to fires.
Minister Keenan said that the Australian Government is committed to supporting the New South Wales Government and its communities to boost their resilience for future events and that it is only by working together that we can reduce the potentially destructive impacts of future disasters such as bushfires.
On the topic of boosting community disaster resilience, the Commonwealth Government has also announced that applications are now open for the 2016 Resilient Australia Awards.
Now in their 17th year, these awards are a national program to recognise and promote initiatives which strengthen community disaster resilience.
Disaster resilience is about making our communities safer, stronger and better prepared to manage natural disasters. As I mentioned above, many communities across the federal electorate of Parkes have witnessed first-hand the destructive impact natural disasters can have on residents and businesses in our communities and I think we all recognise the importance of working together to build resilience.
By celebrating innovation and best practice, the Resilient Australia Awards showcase work that is often unrecognised, inspiring others to think about how they can be more disaster resilient.
Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan said the Australian Government is proud to sponsor these awards with the states and territories, which will help communities to bounce back from the effects of future natural disasters
The awards are open to all Australians – individuals, not for profit organisations, small and large businesses, local and state government, schools, education institutions, research bodies, and emergency service agencies.
Applications are open until 9 June 2016. For more information and to apply online go to https://resilient.awardsplatform.com/