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State Government funds 56 more water tanks for regional WA volunteer bushfire brigades

Regional WA’s capacity to battle blazes will be bolstered by 8.5 million litres after the State Government announced a $1.2 million investment to build more than 50 new water tanks across regional WA.

They have been earmarked for “high risk” areas outside of townsites or for Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades without storage facilities at their station to reduce the time spent refilling trucks.

Farming communities in the Wheatbelt, Great Southern, Mid West and South West are among those getting the new infrastructure, with 31 local governments receiving grants to purchase and install 56 tanks.

Tanks have been earmarked for the shires of Toodyay (8), Chittering (2), Northam (2), Wandering (8), Williams (1), Goomalling (3), Narembeen (1), Narrogin (2), Wagin (4), Woodanilling (3), Plantagenet (2), Jerramungup (2), Ravensthorpe (2), Carnarvon (1), Upper Gascoyne (1), Irwin (1), Coorow (2), Mingenew (1), Manjimup (1), Dardanup (1), Augusta-Margaret River (3), and the city of Albany (1).

Two tanks will be also be constructed in Wooroloo, which in February was devastated by a quick-moving blaze which ripped through 11,000ha, destroying 86 homes and causing $40 million worth of damage.

The $1.2 million investment follows an earlier $800,000 investment in December to build 61 tanks — between 12,000L and 170,000L — bringing the program’s total to $2 million and 117 tanks.

It comes under the State Government’s $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, of which $15 million was set aside for emergency services.

WA Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby said the tanks would support volunteers for many bushfire seasons to come.

“When bushfires threaten regional communities, Bush Fire Brigades are usually first on the scene and the State Government is committed to supporting them,” he said.

“Having faster access to water reduces the amount of time volunteer firefighters need to refill their vehicles, and during an emergency every minute counts.

“This two-year construction program has also supported regional communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with local tradespeople contracted to build and install water tanks.”

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