Record $972 million emergency services investment to protect NSW families

Published: 8th June 2010

The Keneally Government will invest $972 million in emergency services across NSW, including funding for new fire engines, bushfire tankers and the creation of 30 new jobs in the State Emergency Service.

Mr Whan said the $972 million 2010/11 Emergency Services budget included funding of $64 million for the SES, including a $5 million boost for operational, community engagement and volunteer support staff.

"The Keneally Government is today continuing our proud support for our emergency services, delivering our 16th consecutive record budget," he said.

"Our emergency services are our first line of defence against storms, floods, tsunami, fires and other emergencies and it is vital that they have the personnel, facilities and resources they need to protect communities around NSW.

Budget highlights for the emergency services

NSW Fire Brigades

The NSW Fire Brigades 2010/11 budget is $637 million. Spending includes:
  • $18 million for more than 35 new fire engines and specialised vehicles
  • $8.4 million for firefighting and counter terrorism plant and equipment
  • $10 million for Cabramatta and renovated fire stations and training facilities
  • $2.5 million for Community Fire Units
  • $1.3 million for a Workplace Conduct and Investigation Unit

NSW Rural Fire Service

The Rural Fire Fighting Fund for 2010/11 is $220.4 million. Spending includes:

  • $32.2 million for about 200 bush fire tankers
  • $16 million for new and renovated stations and fire control centres, including installing water tanks
  • More than $17 million for bush fire mitigation, including $6.7 million for works crews
  • $7.8 million for aerial firefighting resources

NSW State Emergency Service

The State Emergency Service budget for 2010/11 is $64.1 million. Spending includes:
  • $2 million to assist with the cost of about 60 emergency response vehicles
  • $1.4 million for rescue equipment, including $600,000 for about 20 floodboats
  • $1.4 million for communication and paging systems
  • $930,000 towards the cost of upgrading unit headquarters around NSW
Mr Whan said that over the past two years, our SES volunteers have responded to a string of emergencies, including major floods in Northern NSW, the Central West and Far West.

"Given the predicted impacts of climate change, this workload is expected to increase in coming years and it is important that the SES is ready to face the challenges ahead.

"This budget lays the groundwork for the SES to bolster its existing capability and continue its important work in helping build resilient communities.

"Twenty new staff will be based at the Wollongong State Headquarters and 12 more in other regions, working in areas such as strategic and operational planning, warning systems, community engagement, training and easing volunteers' administrative load."

Mr Whan said the $637 million NSW Fire Brigades budget included $18 million for more than 35 new fire engines and specialised vehicles, a new $5 million fire station at Cabramatta and more than $8 million for firefighter safety and protective equipment.

"The safety and welfare of our firefighters is the highest priority, which is why we are continuing to provide them with modern and safe vehicles," he said.

"It is also important that they have the most up-to-date personal protective gear to help minimise the risk of radiant heat injuries and heat stress as they go about their vital work to protect NSW families."

The budget also will allow the Brigades to implement a range of workplace conduct and governance initiatives, including investing $1.3 million to establishing a Workplace Conduct and Investigations Unit. This will ensure the highest professional and ethical standards and also help address ongoing workers compensation commitments.

The Rural Fire Fighting Fund is set at $220 million for bush fire prevention and protection around NSW.

"This budget continues our steadfast commitment to protecting the community from the threat of bush fire, with more than $17 million for mitigation activities," Mr Whan said.

"This includes $6.7 million for works crews to assist volunteers with hazard reduction preparations and help elderly, infirm and vulnerable residents reduce their fire risk.

"Another $48 million will be invested to provide high-quality stations and fire control centres and safe and efficient bush fire tankers for our volunteers," Mr Whan said.