NSW Budget 2017: funding for massive air tankers

Magnificent: Thor takes off from Dubbo Regional Airport after refuelling while in action in January. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
Magnificent: Thor takes off from Dubbo Regional Airport after refuelling while in action in January. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Almost $40 million in funding will be set aside for the NSW Rural Fire Service's large fixed-wing tankers used in bushfires.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant announced the $38 million would be allocated over four years as part of the budget.

It meant NSW would continue to engage the massive fixed wing tankers like those nicknamed “Thor” and “Southern Belle”.

Both craft have seen action in the region as recently as earlier this year.

Mr Grant said that after seeing the devastation caused by the Sir Ivan bush fire in February and the impact “Thor” and “Southern Belle” had on the fire ground, there was no hesitation backing continued aerial support for the RFS.

“Our RFS volunteers and staff work tirelessly on the ground, they put their lives on the line in incredibly dangerous situations,” he said.

“These planes can carry 15,000 to 43,000 litres of firefighting retardant, and they can reach any location in NSW within an hour of takeoff.”