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Bush firefighting vehicle gifted to support Aboriginal cultural burns on NSW South Coast

[by Scott Tucker]


Image: supplied

A Local Aboriginal Land Council has received a boost in its work carrying out important cultural burns and bush fire mitigation on the far south coast, with the delivery of a firefighting vehicle.


RFS Deputy Commissioner Field Operations Peter McKechnie handed over the keys to the vehicle to the Merrimans Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) in a ceremony at Wallaga Lake.

“We are pleased to be able to provide the LALC with a used purpose-built firefighting vehicle which it can now use to carry out its statutory obligations relating to bush fire,” Deputy Commissioner McKechnie said.

“The four-wheel drive is fitted with a 600-litre water tank and pressurised fire pumping gear and hoses which can be used to extinguish fires.

A new home for the appliance was found after the Cultural Fire Management Unit within the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure’s (DPHI) approached the RFS on behalf of the Merrimans LALC with the request for a firefighting appliance.

Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said the vehicle would facilitate community practice of cultural burns and support bush fire safety management in the Wallaga Lake region.

“This is a great example of government departments working together to achieve a positive outcome for local communities,” Mr Kamper said.

“The vehicle has solid off-road capabilities and will be suitable for use in the various terrains the LALC faces when undertaking its important work.”

Merrimans Local Aboriginal Land Council Acting CEO Amanda Foster welcomed the new addition.

"It is absolutely outstanding to get this vehicle which will allow the LALC to move forward on a number of fronts including bush fire mitigation, undertaking our cultural burning practices and I'm sure other uses,” Ms Foster said.

“We have land including in remote areas that needs to be managed so the arrival of this tanker comes at a good time."

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said it was great to see a vehicle re-purposed for further community use after its retirement from the RFS fleet.

“We must make the most of every opportunity to minimise the impact of fires on NSW communities, and I am pleased to see this vehicle go to good use.” Minister Dib said.



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