Local News

$97.5M Plan Unveiled for Upcoming Bushfire Season

CFS_truck_by_Jennie_Lenman.jpg

The State Government has unveiled an action plan today in preparation for future catastrophic bushfire events.

In its full response to an Independent Review of SA’s 2019-2020 horror bushfire season, the Marshall Government has today announced a $49 million action plan, in addition to the $48.5 million announced in July.

Money will be invested in the Emergency Services Sector and the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) to equip the state with stronger resources

Premier Steven Marshall said the comprehensive response was an integral part of creating a safer, stronger and more resilient South Australia.

“Last year’s devastating bushfire season saw almost 279,000 hectares of land burnt, almost 68,000 livestock perished, and tragically, three lives lost,” Premier Marshall said.

Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty AO was asked to conduct an Independent Review in January, to look at what can be done to mitigate the impacts of bushfires on our communities into the future.  

A total of 68 findings and 15 recommendations were identified as part of the Independent Review and five key themes highlighted:

  • Additional support and resources for volunteers, including extra staff and equipment
  • Better protection for critical assets
  • Enhanced communications and technology
  • Improved information before, during and after bushfires
  • Improved mental health support for Emergency Services Sector

The comprehensive action plan will also improve bushfire management planning and provide more support for the State Bushfire Coordination Committee, including $37 million of new funding to allow the Department for Environment and Water to significantly increase hazard reduction across the state.

The State Government has previously announced funding of $20.3 million for new trucks and equipment for volunteers, enhanced communications and technology, and better protection for critical assets.

A further $16.7 million in federal and state funding will be invested over five years for the South Australian Disaster Risk Reduction Grants Program. The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service will receive $11.5m for new urban appliances.

A progress report on the 69 action items will be delivered in September 2021.

A full copy of the State Government’s comprehensive response can be found online on the SAFECOM website: www.safecom.sa.gov.au.

Photo of Aldgate CFS truck by Jennie Lenman