Bushfire response to be made innovative under new govt prog

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The piloting of innovative technology that aims to enhance bushfire operations and management will be accelerated under a new NSW Government funding program.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the $1.5 million Bushfire Technology Pilots Program would provide grants of up to $100,000 to support trials and pilots of field-ready bushfire technology developed by NSW businesses.

“We want to harness our state’s excellence in cutting-edge research and make NSW a global leader in bushfire research and development,” Mr Henskens said.

“This program is about strengthening planning, preparation and response to bushfire threats, so that NSW firefighting services continue to be a leader in this space.”

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The program is the first initiative to be rolled out under the Bushfire Response R&D Mission, a recommendation of the Turning ideas into jobs – Accelerating research and development in NSW Action Plan.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said the program would help enhance the capability of firefighters, while supporting businesses and jobs in NSW.

“This funding will help pilot technologies that can be procured and used by agencies not just in NSW, but across the nation and worldwide, to save lives and change the way we respond to disasters,” Ms Cooke said.

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Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier Gabrielle Upton said the ‘Black Summer’ bushfire season of 2019-20 took a terrible toll on lives, property and our economy.

“The Bushfire Technology Pilots Program is part of the $28 million commitment by the NSW Government to support bushfire research commercialisation and was also a key recommendation of the NSW Bushfire Inquiry,” Ms Upton said.

More information about the program, and how to apply, is available online.