Barwon Downs CFA today celebrated its centenary with the handover of a new $125,000 ultra light tanker.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney, MP, handed over the keys to the 550-litre tanker on the 100th anniversary of the brigade’s formation.
“Today is an historic day for Barwon Downs CFA,” Ms Tierney said.
“For the past 100 years, Barwon Downs CFA has been providing a vital service to the local community in keeping them safe from the threat of bushfire.”
“As we reflect on 100 years of proud service, we also look to the future of Barwon Downs fire brigade, of which this new tanker will play a major part.”
Ms Tierney said the new tanker would come into its own in the rugged local terrain of the Otways as it supports the brigade’s 2000-litre four-wheel drive tanker.
“There is no doubting the natural beauty of the Otways and its appeal as a major tourist destination, but with that appeal comes the ever-present threat of bushfire,” Ms Tierney said.
“I am sure this new tanker will help Barwon Downs CFA’s 24 volunteers carry on their proud tradition of protecting the local community.”
Ms Tierney said the State Government was proud to support Victoria’s emergency services.
She said the 2010/11 State Budget announced a range of measures aimed at further strengthening the state’s emergency response.
“This year’s Budget delivered a $136.6 million boost to Victoria’s emergency services and underlined the State Government’s commitment to bushfire preparation and response,” Ms Tierney said.
Measures funded in the State Budget include $35.4 million for personnel training at Incident Control Centres, $28.5 million to upgrade and improve bushfire warnings and upgrade intelligence gathering and $41.8 million for CFA to help communities better prepare themselves for the bushfire season.
Ms Tierney said the Government would also spend $9.2 million employing 18 additional CFA personnel to train local brigades to support and advise private land owners, local councils and government agencies on vegetation management.
“The State Government this year doubled the amount of money available for CSESP grants to $6.8 million in 2010/11, giving volunteer emergency services groups access to vital equipment and upgrades,” Ms Tierney said.
“These grants are in addition to this year’s record emergency services budget aimed at ensuring Victorian communities are better prepared to address future emergencies.”
The CSESP is a Victorian Government initiative funded through the Community Support Fund