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Erickson Aircrane 'Georgia Peach' completes WA aerial firefighting fleet



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The Hon Michael Keenan MP Minister for Justice

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter-Terrorism

The Hon Ken Wyatt Assistant Minister for Health

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

21 December 2015

Erickson Aircrane ‘Georgia Peach’ completes WA Aerial Firefighting Fleet

Western Australia’s firefighting capability has been given a significant boost with today’s launch of its full aerial firefighting fleet, completed with the return of the powerful Erickson Aircrane ‘Georgia Peach’.

The fleet was launched by Commonwealth Assistant Minister for Health Ken Wyatt, representing the Minister for Justice Michael Keenan, Western Australian Minister for Emergency Services Joe Francis, and Minister for Environment, Albert Jacob at Jandakot Airport.

It includes ten aircraft contracted through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre, which facilitates the sharing of aerial firefighting resources between States and Territories during the fire season.

The NAFC represents a cooperative national approach to disasters, providing specialised aircraft that might otherwise be out of reach for individual jurisdictions.

The Australian Government invests $14.8 million each year in the NAFC arrangements to support states and territories and ensure Australians are protected by the best aerial firefighting aircraft possible.

Mr Wyatt said this year’s national fleet consists of more than 120 aircraft strategically deployed across Australia.

“It’s an impressive national fleet, and aircraft deployed in other states and territories can potentially be used in Western Australia if the need arises, such as last season when two Aircranes were shipped across the Nullarbor to assist our state,” Mr Wyatt said.

“All governments in Australia recognise the importance of having access to a sophisticated aerial firefighting capability to respond to bushfires. A national, coordinated and cooperative effort is the key to enhancing Australia’s disaster resilience.”

For more information about the aerial fleet visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au

Media contacts: Emily Broadbent 0400 390 008 or Shannen Wilkinson 0476 820 816 (Minister Keenan) Chloe Lawler 0447 680 444 (Assistant Minister Wyatt)