Shoalhaven News

National Parks improved fire protection

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The 2022-23 NSW Budget is delivering a major boost to fire management in national parks through a $598 million investment, delivering 250 permanent jobs and critical infrastructure upgrades.

Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock MP said the funding will ensure the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) can increase hazard reduction activity.

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“This funding will maintain record levels of national park firefighters in NSW,” Mrs Hancock said.

“This will help to strengthen remote area firefighting capability and support NPWS to continue its critical work protecting communities and the environment from the threat of bushfires.”

Minister for Environment James Griffin said NPWS, in collaboration with the Rural Fire Service (RFS), conducts about 75 per cent of all hazard reduction burning in NSW.

“This significant investment of $598 million over 10 years for NPWS will secure 250 permanent jobs for firefighting and conservation roles, and deliver important infrastructure and fleet upgrades,” Mr Griffin said.

“This is a major part of our response to the Bushfire Inquiry, which resulted in a 20 per cent increase in NPWS hazard reduction targets in high-risk areas.

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The funding boost will deliver:

  • 250 permanent jobs from July 2023, including 200 firefighters and 50 roles to meet new statutory requirements for protecting Assets of Intergenerational Significance (AIS) across the national parks estate
  • $27.7 million over four years to upgrade the radio network
  • $4.5 million over four years for safety upgrades to the NPWS fleet

The need for special measures to protect AIS habitats, such as the Wollemi Pine, was another outcome of the Bushfire Inquiry.

With more than 200 Assets of Intergenerational Significance already declared, the funding will deliver fire management, feral animal control and other measures needed to protect the most important natural and cultural assets in the national parks estate.

Images: Newsroom 

Tags: Rural Fire Service, Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock MP, National Parks and Wildlife