New South Wales to spend $192m fighting off bushfires

The NSW government will spend $192 million on night-time aerial firefighting, new equipment, and better mental health supports for emergency services as part of its response to the state’s bushfire inquiry.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian established the inquiry in January in the midst of a catastrophic and unprecedented bushfire season in which 25 people died, almost 2500 homes were razed, more than 5.5 million hectares were burned and billions of animals perished.

The independent inquiry handed down 76 recommendations in July, and all were accepted by the government in August.

The $192 million, announced on Thursday, will be spent across five years in the hope NSW can avoid a repeat of last summer’s horror bushfire season.

“Last season’s bushfires had a devastating effect on the whole of NSW and this funding will go a long way in ensuring we never see the same impact again,” NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.

The funds include:

* $36 million for a new first responder mental health strategy;

* $2.5 million for updates to the Fires Near Me app;

* $23 million for PPE for frontline firefighters;

* and $17 million for upgrades to firefighting trucks.

The state’s aerial firefighting fleet and training facilities will also receive a $5.4 million boost, and $9.5 million will be spent on improving the fire trail network.

Read more on this story at the Hepburn Advocate

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