NSW’s firefighting capabilities would be boosted by hundreds of new and updated trucks, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Ms Berejiklian and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said 340 vehicles would be built and upgraded, 200 of which would be ready by June.
“I’m really pleased that the NSW government (has) made sure we’re not only well equipped for the next fire seasons, but also made sure we’re in an ongoing process of upgrading all our fire trucks,” Ms Berejiklian said at press conference in Sydney’s Kirrawee suburb.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said some 71 trucks were destroyed during last summer’s catastrophic bushfires.
“A number of these will assist that, but we’re also building on top of that,” Mr Rogers said.
Almost two dozen trucks have already been deployed across the state.
The old trucks that were being refurbished would be fitted with the latest technology to keep firefighters safe, the officials said.
“It’s a new standard of protection for our crew,” Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said.
A $45m investment last year to enhance the state’s firefighting capability included $34.4m for new equipment.
Mr Rogers said NSW’s two water bombing planes had recently been sent to Western Australia to help firefighters there put out blazes that have ravaged Perth and destroyed at least 86 homes.
“Both of the 737s have been there, and they’ve done at least eight bombing missions each day. I understand they’re making a real difference,” he said.
“We will always help other states and territories in their time of need, as did those states and territories in the last fire season. They all came and helped us, and of course we will be there to return the favour.”