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Australian Government provides an extra $4 million for aerial firefighting.

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19 February 2009

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT PROVIDES AN EXTRA $4 MILLION FOR AERIAL FIREFIGHTING Attorney-General Robert McClelland has today announced that the Australian Government will provide an additional $4 million to keep in place aerial firefighting capability across the country this bushfire season.

“This extra funding will help the States and Territories extend the lease arrangements on aerial firefighting aircraft, such as the Erickson Skycranes, so they are able to stay in Australia as long as they are required,” Mr McClelland said.

“It builds on the $10.2 million already committed by the Commonwealth to the National Aerial Firefighting Arrangements this financial year.”

“With bushfires still burning in Victoria, and the possibility of more fires to come, the additional funding provides certainty to local communities that these invaluable assets will remain available to use when necessary,” Mr McClelland said.

The $4 million is being provided to the National Aerial Firefighting Centre, which is responsible for the national coordination and sharing of aerial firefighting resources.

The Commonwealth funds up to half the annual cost of leasing and positioning these firefighting aircraft across Australia, with the remaining lease and operating costs met by the States and Territories.

The National Aerial Firefighting Arrangements are an example of the cooperative approach taken between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories when it comes to addressing Australia’s bushfire risk.

Media Contact: Adam Sims 0419 480 224