27 February, 2013
Minister to visit fire fighters in Australia
Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain leaves for Melbourne tomorrow to show his support for New Zealand fire fighters helping to control bush fires in Victoria.
The team of 66 fire fighters is New Zealand’s second-largest deployment ever and is made up of Department of Conservation forestry personnel and rural fire fighters. They have been stationed in the Gippsland area for the past two weeks.
“The Australian fire fighters in Victoria are feeling the strain of two months of work in extreme heat and difficult conditions. Our team is relieving the pressure on the local fire crews and giving them an opportunity to rest and recharge,” says Mr Tremain.
“The duties being carried out by our team include controlling fires, building containment lines, and felling dangerous trees. It’s hard arduous work and I want to see first-hand the conditions they are working in and to convey my appreciation.
“We have a reciprocal arrangement in place with the Australians and are happy to help out when needed. This deployment is also a great opportunity to share training and knowledge with one another.
“While in Melbourne I will also be meeting with the Federal Minister for Emergency Management Hon Mark Dreyfus and the Minister for Police and Emergency Services Hon Peter Ryan.”