National Aerial Firefighting Strategy
|(Contributing division: Territories and Local Government)||Achieved|
Effectiveness: Improved state and territory aerial firefighting capability
Cost: $5.5 million
In September 2002, following consideration of the report of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) on aerial firefighting, the government announced it would provide $5.5 million to meet half the leasing and positioning costs of three Erickson Air-Crane helitankers. This funding was provided in recognition of the expected severity of the 2002-03 bushfire season.
In January 2003 the Prime Minister announced an additional $2.1 million in Commonwealth funding to meet half the leasing and positioning costs of two extra Erickson Air-Crane helitankers. The Prime Minister also announced funding of $550 000 to assist Western Australia and South Australia with costs for medium fixed-wing fire fighting aircraft for the 2002-03 season.
On 6 June 2003 the AFAC commenced a tender process for high capacity aircraft requirements as part of a coordinated approach to aerial firefighting. The department is continuing to be involved in discussions with AFAC concerning the establishment of the management regime.
A total of $7.1 million was expensed in 2002-03.