Bundaberg Local Disaster Management Group chair, Mayor Jack Dempsey, says a large air tanker based at Bundaberg Airport would help fight fires across the state.
Mayor Dempsey says he's hopeful QFES will go ahead with plans to base the firefighting aircraft in the region.
He said QFES had utilised the airport's facilities successfully in past fire seasons.
“Bundaberg has a proven record of supporting aerial firefighting efforts when crews working from the area set a record for the most water bombers filled in one day,” he said.
“At the height of the Gregory River fires a total of 114 plane loads of water and foam left the airport in December last year.
“The large air tanker could reach Proserpine in Northern Queensland, Tambo in Western Queensland and right down to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales within an hour of leaving the Bundaberg Airport, if based here.
“Depending on the type of Large Air Tanker it could have the ability to carry three to five times the amount of water compared to the smaller firefighting aircraft that are normally based here during the firefighting season.”
Mayor Dempsey said Bundaberg Airport has the necessary facilities and after last weekend’s training of emergency services personnel in airbase operations, the Bundaberg Region was ready to go if a large air tanker is based here.
“If the Bundaberg Region was to secure the large air tanker it would provide an important service to many communities,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“It will be a great opportunity for the community to have peace of mind, particularly after our bushfires of recent times.
“We have people trained in air base operations, meaning a large air tanker would be a ready-made asset to help fight against fire across the state.”
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