Push to keep key firefighting aircraft for summer

NEEDED: One of the NSW fire service tankers. PHOTO: CFA

THE Victorian Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett, is writing to Federal Minister for Justice Michael Keenan requesting the Commonwealth to consider extending the contracts for two Large Air Tankers (LATs) based in New South Wales.

The LATs are some of the biggest firefighting aircraft in the world and provide support to Victoria and South Australia during large bushfires.

The contracts for the NSW LATs expire on December 4 and January 16.

They are part of the national air fleet which can move between states as required.

With a long, hot and dry season ahead, Ms Garrett travelled to South Australia last week to meet with SA Minister for Emergency Services Tony Piccolo to discuss resources and to continue a close working relationship with interstate colleagues.

“We are bracing for a long, hot and dry fire season and we want to make sure we have the maximum air power to fight bushfires,” Ms Garrett said.

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