Firefighting infrastructure and equipment will receive an almost $270 million boost as part of the NSW government response to the state’s independent bushfire inquiry.
The money will pay for firefighting drones, increased aerial response capacity, improved fire trails and local firefighting needs over the next four years.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says the funds take the total amount committed by the state and federal government in response to the inquiry to more than $460 million.
He says critical projects will be rolled out to protect communities across NSW.
“This commitment will bolster the future of our fire agencies and preparedness of communities, many of whom have personally witnessed the devastating effects of fire,” Mr Perrottet said on Saturday.
“Highlights of the package include further funding for new and refurbished fire trucks, operationalising two black hawk helicopters to replace existing NSW RFS helicopters and implementing the new National Fire Danger Ratings System.”
RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said fire agencies at all levels were working hard towards implementing inquiry recommendations.
“This commitment will assist by increasing mitigation crews on the ground, getting aviation assets in the sky, and most importantly providing safer trucks for our firefighters,” he said.
The $268.2 million funding package includes more than $50 million to support firefighting tanker replacement and safety retrofits for the RFS, fire and rescue and National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Almost $38 million will go to the continued funding of additional mitigation crews to deliver greater hazard reduction.
Some $34.4 million will be used to deliver strategic fire trails, $22.7 million will buy personal protective clothing and $19.9 million, upgraded dispatch systems.
Another $17.2 million will help put two black hawk helicopters in the air and $5.2 million will buy extra drones.
The NSW Bushfire Inquiry was commissioned to examine the causes, preparation and response to the devastating 2019-20 Summer Bushfires.
The NSW government has accepted its 76 recommendations.