Aerial firefighting fleet bolstered

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Aerial firefighting fleet bolstered

6 January 2022

Tasmania’s firefighting capacity has been bolstered with the launch of the summer aviation fleet to help keep Tasmanians safe from the threat of bushfires.

Tasmania now has 12 specialised aircraft on hand to help fight fires from above, including a mix of firebombing, air supervision and aerial intelligence gathering aircraft. Eight are helicopters and four are fixed wing planes.  These aircraft are made possible through the collaboration of the Tasmanian and Australian Governments who jointly fund the aircraft through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre.

The fleet are all strategically positioned so that they can be moved quickly around the State to respond to fires.

In addition, 20 local aircraft are available to call on to assist when required, taking the total firefighting aircraft available in Tasmania to 32.  This will ensure a rapid response to bushfires when they 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 our communities and to support firefighters on the ground.

The Tasmania Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timbers Tasmania have been busy preparing for, and responding to bushfires over the last month.

We know that investing in the aerial firefighting fleet is a critical part of keeping Tasmanians safe during bushfire season.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safe from the threat of bushfires, which is why we are investing $111.5 million over the forward estimates for bushfire prevention and safety measures.

Keeping Tasmanians Safe

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Keeping Tasmanians Safe

Thursday, 24 June 2021

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has hit the ground running on delivering our Plan to Secure Tasmania’s Future, which will keep Tasmanians safe from crime and reduce the risk of bushfires in our communities. 

I have been privileged to visit our dedicated emergency service workers over the past month and see firsthand the incredible work they do in protecting and serving Tasmanians.

This includes attending the graduation of 30 new firefighters, who will help deliver our $18 million Ensuring Bushfire Safe Communities and Supporting our Volunteers election policy.

We are also investing:

  • $2.5 million in additional funding towards our successful “Red Hot Tips” program to support farmers and landholders conducting burn-offs; 
  • $2.5 million in additional funding towards our nation-leading Fuel Reduction Program, which stalled under Labor and the Greens putting Tasmanians and their homes at risk;
  • $3 million for our Health and Wellbeing Program to ensure all our emergency service personnel and volunteers receive the support they require; 
  • $250,000 to kit out volunteer fire trucks with new-generation defibrillators;
  • $2 million to advance the roll-out of new and enhanced mission-critical equipment for volunteer fire brigades;
  • $500,000 per year over four years to extend our grants program for fire and emergency services volunteers for equipment, amenity and facility improvements. 

As the new Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, I have also had the pleasure of visiting our Police at their facilities to hear firsthand about the challenging and confronting situations they are faced with daily. 

Their dedication and commitment to keeping Tasmanians safe is why we are investing $43.3 million through our Investing in More Police and Safer Communities policy. 

The policy includes the staged recruitment of another 50 police officers, which once complete, will see the recruitment of 308 new police officers since 2014, with this month alone 44 new police officers joining the frontline.

Our other investments include:

  • $2.4 million to extend Tasmania’s electronic monitoring of family violence perpetrators, after the successful trial that showed an 82 per cent decrease in high-risk family violence incidents, and 100 per cent decrease in stalking, providing extra safety and comfort to victim-survivors;
  • $7.5 million to build a new police station at St Helens, and $12.5 million to upgrade the Bridgewater Police Station; on top of the $22 million for new stations in Longford, New Norfolk and Sorell.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is the strongest supporter of Tasmania’s fantastic emergency responders, who do an incredible and unceasing job in the face of extreme and challenging circumstances.

On behalf of the Tasmanian community, I thank each and every one of them for the work they do.