The Western Australian Fire Brigades Board budget provides for a major boost to the capital works program with new fire stations and replacement of equipment.
Emergency Services Minister Bob Wiese said the WAFBB budget had been increased by $3.1 million and included a special allocation to upgrade community education programs on fire prevention.
The WAFBB's budget for 1995-96 was $64.1 million, with the State Government and local government providing 12.5 per cent each and the insurance industry 75 per cent.
Mr Wiese said for the first time, funds would be directed towards an extensive community program on fire prevention for high risk groups. The allocation of $440,000 would be used to assist the elderly and socially disadvantaged.
"Young people also require more information on how to avoid a fire tragedy, both around the home and in bushland," he said.
"The allocation will be used to help reinforce these lessons through a comprehensive education program in schools."
The Minister said funds for the board's capital works program for 1995-96 were increased by $11.4 million to $17.8 million which included:
· $6.6 million for the ongoing construction of the Forrestfield training academy;
· $923,000 for the completion of a new fire station and equipment at Joondalup;
· $760,000 for the replacement of the Balcatta fire station which would be relocated in Hepburn Heights;
· $760,000 for land acquisition for new stations in the metropolitan and country areas;
· $668,000 for the completion of a new fire station at Port Kennedy and replacement stations at Kellerberrin and Kulin; and -
· $480,000 for building replacement stations at Ravensthorpe and Coolgardie.
Mr Wiese said there was a $4 million allocation for replacement of medium pumpers, which was part of an ongoing overhaul of the board's firefighting equipment. The total package would be worth more than $12 million.
He said $1.1 million was for an aerial firefighting appliance to replace a turntable ladder which had become unsafe for operational use.
"Firefighters put their lives on the line and it is crucial they have modern equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently in the safest possible way," he said.
Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595 or 482 4648