Bushfire response research and development gets funding boost in NSW

The New South Wales Government has put aside $28 million for research and development into emerging industries and technology to better prepare the state for bushfires.
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As part of the 2021-22 Budget, the NSW Bushfire Response R&D Mission will receive $7 million each year for the next four years.

This will fund new technology to enhance all aspects of bushfire response, preparation and planning.

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, said the Bushfire Response Mission will have a strong focus on technology. 

 “The Mission will develop the use of real-time data from space, air and ground-based assets, ensure fire ground decisions made are based on information and computer-aided tools, and enable the use of equipment including robots to aid responders,” Professor Durrant-Whyte said.

“Technologies from NSW companies which prove themselves will attract interest from global markets.” 

The funding will support a Bushfire Technology network and will engage NSW small businesses to develop and commercialise bushfire technologies to be tested by frontline NSW bushfire services.

It will also help to respond to recommendations from the NSW Bushfire inquiry including establishing NSW as a major world centre for bush fire research, and technology development and commercialisation.  

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the 2019-20 bushfires claimed lives, destroyed thousands of homes and cost NSW billions, this investment will go towards reducing the impact of bushfires and responding in the most effective way possible.

“This focus on new technology to enhance planning, preparation and response will save jobs when a disaster strikes and boost jobs in new industries.

"NSW is unfortunately one of the world's bushfire hotspots, so it makes sense that we should package our hard-won know-how and take it to the world."