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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Nationals splash cash on electorate

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NSW minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant, RFS volunteer Phil Staff (rear), Brigade Captain Mark Ross, Nationals candidate for Ballina Ben Franklin and senior Dept Capt Leah Ross. Photo Jeff Dawson

It’s a new truck!

NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) members have welcomed their latest addition to fighting fires this bushfire season with a new $197,000 Category Seven pumper.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said it would enable the Mullumbimby Brigade ‘to provide an even greater level of fire protection to the local community.’

He said, ‘Our ongoing investment in new vehicles ensures the NSW RFS have access to modern firefighting technology when responding to fires as well as other incidents across the state.’

Nationals parliamentary secretary for Northern NSW  Ben Franklin said the Mullumbimby Brigade is a very active unit, ‘often dispatched to bush, grass, and structure fires as well as motor vehicle accidents, so these new trucks will prove invaluable.’

He said, ‘While the brigade’s previous resource served them well, I am confident this new state-of-the-art vehicle will prove even better as we continue through what is expected to be a very challenging bushfire season.’

NSW RFS chief superintendent Tim Butcher said the dedication of far north coast team volunteers is always appreciated, and this new vehicle will support the brigade to continue their outstanding work.

STEER Project

Meanwhile, a program that provides breath testing and promotes the consumption of zero-alcohol alternatives at festivals and events has had a last-minute reprieve from closure after the Liberal/National government granted the organisation  $9.3k for the summer season.

Under threat

The STEER Project, headed by local firefighter Phil Preston, was under threat of closure from a lack of government and festival support, as reported previously by The Echo.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Troy Grant and Nationals MLC Ben Franklin made the funding announcement last week.

‘We want to ensure our young people can not only celebrate safely, but also get home safely,’ Mr Franklin said.

‘The STEER Project, and particularly the STEER Voluntary Breath Testing program, is making a positive change to drink-driving behaviour for young people and helping them make good decisions on transport safety.’

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