National

More jobs and trucks in NSW RFS funding

By AAP Newswire

An additional 100 jobs will be created within the NSW Rural Fire Service and more than 100 vehicles delivered as the state government prepares for the 2020-21 bushfire season.

The NSW government announced $45.1 million on Sunday to fast-track the state's hazard reduction program while also upgrading firefighting capabilities within the RFS.

The funding includes $10.7 million for additional "state mitigation crews", creating 100 jobs across 25 statewide crews for hazard reduction burning.

The remaining $34.4 million investment will be spent on upgrades to the RFS firefighting fleet, including 120 new and 70 refurbished trucks for selected brigades to be delivered by the end of the next financial year.

Police Minister David Elliott said the state government was determined to prepare for the season ahead.

"We want our volunteers to have the very best equipment available to them when they put their lives on the line to keep the community safe," Mr Elliott said in a statement on Sunday.

"This investment in fire trucks will also create hundreds of manufacturing jobs for regional economies which have been hit hard by drought, fire and now a global pandemic."

NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said a better prepared community was a more resilient one.

He said state mitigation crews provide valuable assistance to brigades, particularly through an increased capacity to conduct burns during the week when volunteers were at work.

Rural Fire Service Association President Brian McDonough welcomed the extra funding and the state government's efforts to listen to the needs of volunteer firefighters.

"The association has been pressing the case for extra investment in our firefighting fleet, and we're delighted that the government has not only listened to the needs of volunteer firefighters, but delivered," Mr McDonough said.