National call for mechanical fuel load reduction tenders
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston
NSW Minister for Primary Industries and NSW Minister for Lands and Water, Niall Blair
7 March 2016
A $1.5 million national tender to fund three mechanical bushfire fuel reduction trials is now open.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, and New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair, today called on potential service providers to submit expressions of interest.
Minister Ruston said the $1.5 million to fund mechanical fuel reduction trials was available through the $15 million National Bushfire Mitigation Programme, a three-year programme to reduce the impact of bushfires and build a more disaster resilient Australia.
"This tender process delivers on a key forestry election commitment made by the Coalition and demonstrates our commitment to improve bushfire prevention and fuel load management in our public forests," Minister Ruston said.
"By undertaking trials and incorporating the learnings from them we will be able to use evidence-based prevention and management methods in the future.
"Our hope is that these trials will give us alternatives to those we currently have—like planned burning—especially around key assets or high conservation value areas where planned burns pose too high a risk.
"Developing these tools has strong potential to benefit communities who currently deal with smoke haze during planned burns, state and territory forest managers and potentially the front line—our hard working fire management agencies and volunteers.
"Through this tender we want to fund at least three mechanical bushfire fuel reduction trials in different parts of the nation."
Minister Blair said NSW was determined to work with the Australian Government to deliver better bushfire mitigation tools for its communities.
"We know the devastating impact bushfires can have on the community and on our precious environmental and productive resources," Minister Blair said.
"Mechanical fuel reduction is about finding effective and efficient ways to reduce fuel loads whilst retaining important forest values and reducing the potential for high intensity bushfires. The trials provide another example of innovative, active and adaptive management approaches to forest and fire protection across the landscape.
"We're always looking for ways that do the least harm to the forest and produce the most benefit in mitigating the risk of bushfires."
For more information about the trials visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/national/nbmp and to lodge an expression of interest visit https://tenders.nsw.gov.au.