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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation
Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald

15 July 2005

Fire management funds for Western Australia


Fire management in Western Australia has received a boost with a $650,000 investment by the Australian Government into strategic work on bushfire trails throughout the State.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, WA Senator Ian Campbell, said the funding would enhance the construction, maintenance and signage of local bushfire trail networks. It would be matched by the State Government.

“Adequate fire trails are vital to help prevent bushfire and to restrict the spread of a fire once it has started,” Senator Campbell said.

“This investment, together with the State Government contribution, will greatly enhance community safety and fire suppression activities.”

Projects will be funded in the Perth Hills, Swan Coastal District, the South West, the Wheatbelt, Midwest and Goldfields and will include road reconstructions, bridge building to enhance access to certain areas, reconstruction of fire trails, maintenance of firebreaks, the production of fire maps and improvements to water supplies.

The funding has been provided under the Australian Government’s new $15 million Bushfire Mitigation Programme, aimed at helping local communities throughout the nation to better prepare for bushfires. This programme is part of a three-year, $24 million bushfire management fund.

“The Bushfire Mitigation Programme complements existing fire risk management activities in Western Australia,” Senator Campbell said.

The programme works in conjunction with the State bushfire mitigation priorities and assessment procedures and addresses vital issues that have been identified by recent bushfire inquiries including the parliamentary report, ‘A Nation Charred: Inquiry into the Recent Australian Bushfires’, and the Council of Australian Government’s National inquiry on Bushfire Mitigation and Management.

These reports identified measures that could be implemented by governments, industry and the community to minimise the incidence and impact of bushfires on life, property and the environment.

Applications for funding of suitable projects under the programme in 2005-06 will be open until September 30 through the WA Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Further information about the Bushfire Mitigation Programme in WA is available from CALM on 08 9725 5938 and on the Department of Transport and Regional Services website at www.dotars.gov.au

Media contacts:
Minister Campbell   Renae Stoikos   (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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