Residents in the Warrumbungle Shire will benefit from a share in joint Commonwealth-State funding of $2.59 million for projects to help better protect New South Wales (NSW) communities from the threat of bush fire.
Visiting Coonabarabran last week, Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said this funding commitment would contribute $110,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Services Castlereagh Zone for three new tanks.
“This funding will provide the local RFS with three new tanks in order to store vital water supplies for the fire season – one 250,000 litre water tank and two 30,000 litre mixed tanks containing retardant,” Mr Coulton said.
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.
Attending the Coonabarabran Aerodrome with Superintendent Corey Phillip and Warrumbungle Shire Council’s General Manager Steve Loane, Mr Coulton reflected on the 2013 Wambelong fire and the impact it had on the Warrumbungle Shire.
“Sadly residents in Coonabarabran know all too well the devastation that bush fires cause for local communities,” Mr Coulton said.
“Bush fires along with other natural disasters can have an enormous impact on our local economies and cripple businesses and communities.
“I am hopeful that these three new tanks will assist the Warrumbungle Shire to be more resilient and better prepared to prevent and lessen the impact of future bushfires across the area.”
Superintendent Corey Philip echoed Mr Coulton’s sentiments confirming that the new storage tanks will have the local RFS well positioned in aerial firefighting support for the start of the 2016/17 fire season and future seasons.
“Our plan is to have the tanks installed and full by the 1 September 2016,” Superintendent Philip said.
“This funding ensures the overall infrastructure improvement plan at Coonabarabran Airport for the NSW RFS firefighting capacity.”