THE Tweed Rural Fire Brigades have been given a major financial boost in preparation for what may be a tough bushfire season this year.
Tweed MP Neville Newell said volunteer firefighters will share in $1.05 million from the $134.2 million New South Wales government bushfire budget.
Mr Newell said he had secured this record funding to ensure Tweed firefighters had the essential equipment, resources, accommodation, training and support they needed for their work to protect lives and property in the local area.
"I commend and thank the volunteers for their amazing work that had already been undertaken in containing the recent Round Mountain fires, without any property being lost at
Bogangar," Mr Newell said yesterday.
"These recent early fires indicate that this will be a prolonged and severe bushfire season of high temperatures and low humidity.
"The extensive rainfall that fell last week can not lull us into a false sense of security and our local brigades manned by experienced volunteers are at the ready and fully equipped to tackle more outbreaks.
The funding of $1,050,660 is an increase of 8.3 per cent over last year's alloca- tion of $969,670 and includes:
l? New tankers received: 1x category 1 village protection tanker, Murwillumbah-
l?Allocated (2004-5) and awaiting delivery 1x category 1 village protection tank- er Tweed Coast - $204,855;
l?$15,000 for radio linkage improvements;
l?$22000 for compressed air breathing apparatus and training - Tweed Coast and Cudgen brigades;
l?Additions to Tweed Coast station $22,000;
l?Commencement of joint Murwillumbah SES and RFS station - RFS $100,000 and SES $50,000; and
l?Bilambil brigade to be updated to include a category 1 village protection unit.
"This year's funding takes the total amount allocated to brigades on the Tweed by the NSW Government over 10 years to more than $6.8 million and over this time we have achieved significantly improved fire protection for residents, businesses and the many thousands of tourists who visit each year to enjoy our beaches, hinterland and National Parks," he said.