12 June 2012

Group 8 Brigades Lower Hunter Zone, Rural Fire Service has received a top honour in this years national Resilient Australia Awards for the Wollombi Community Firewise Program.

The Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, congratulated Group 8 Brigades Lower Hunter Zone, Rural Fire Service on winning the national award.

This project is delivered by four volunteer bushfire brigades including Wollombi, Laguna, Bucketty and Millfield (Wollombi Valley Brigades). These four brigades have developed tailored community education regarding how to prepare for bushfire, what steps to take in the event of bushfire, and most importantly how to survive a bushfire

"While natural disasters can be unpredictable, we can all be better prepared, and thats what this project is about," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Local residents can be confident that our community will be better prepared.

The Resilient Australia Awards recognise innovative practices that are making our communities safer, stronger, more resilient and better prepared to manage any emergency situation.

The awards are an Australian Government initiative delivered in partnership with states and territories and received 108 entries this year - a record number.

Formerly known as the Australian Safer Communities Awards, the Resilient Australia Awards were renamed to reflect the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience.

We are committed to supporting a national approach to disaster resilience, Ms Roxon said.

Ms Roxon said the Gillard Government is doing its bit to ensure Australia is disaster ready including:

$60 million to establish and upgrade Emergency Alert

$110 million in disaster mitigation funding to ensure our communities can be better prepared for potential disasters

$100 million so that Australias police, fire, ambulance and emergency services will have access to a dedicated national communications channel during disasters following the allocation of 10MHz of spectrum

$3 billion over the last financial year in post disaster support to help families back on their feet.