Firefighting aircraft take to skies

Mark Shelton,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Tasmania’s aerial firefighting capacity has been turbo-charged ahead of the summer with a fleet of 11 pre-positioned aircraft now ready to be deployed as part of the Tasmanian Government’s plan to keep Tasmanians safe.

This year we have increased our prepositioned fleet by over 50 per cent and the aircraft include a mix of firebombing, air supervision and aerial intelligence gathering aircraft, with seven helicopters and four fixed wing aircraft.

The fleet will be located in Hobart and Launceston so that aircraft can be moved quickly around the State to respond to fires or staged at strategic locations across the state on days of increased bushfire risk.

In addition, local aircraft are available to call on to assist where required taking the total firefighting aircraft available in Tasmania to 28. This will ensure a rapid response to bushfires that do start, keeping fires small until ground crews arrive.

Tasmania is well prepared for the bushfire season, and we recognise the importance of having access to a sophisticated, flexible aerial firefighting capability to respond to bushfires, protect communities and to support firefighters on the ground.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safer from the threat of bushfires, which is why we are investing $17.6 million in a comprehensive package of mitigation initiatives in the 2020-21 State Budget.

We are delivering a clear plan for bushfire prevention, because we know that when landowners, industry, farmers and the wider community are supported in this way, all Tasmanians will be safer.

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