Five fire trucks are on the way to Papua New Guinea (PNG) on board HMAS Choules after being donated by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES).
The trucks will be delivered to the PNG Fire Service to assist with their local firefighting efforts.
Minister for Defence, the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Australia welcomed this opportunity to acknowledge and thank PNG for their support 12 months ago during the Black Summer Bushfires.
“A year ago Australia was thanking the 100 members of the PNG Defence Force who came to our aid during the Black Summer Bushfires, assisting with reconnecting isolated communities in the Gippsland region by clearing roads and debris, as well as boosting local morale by sharing songs and culture,” Minister Reynolds said.
“It is fitting that we are delivering this capability to our PNG wantoks one year later, in the spirit of ongoing support, gratitude and cooperation.
“Australia and PNG share a deep friendship based on shared values of security, peace and prosperity for all nations in the Pacific. Through shared capabilities we are better equipped to work together and respond to challenges in times of need.”
The refurbished Type 2 urban fire trucks carry 1800 litres of firefighting water and a full complement of Road Crash Rescue equipment, along with a comprehensive inventory of firefighting equipment.
The fire trucks have also been fitted out with updated breathing apparatus funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which ensures they are compliant with existing systems in PNG.
QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said quality firefighting equipment played a crucial role in quick and effective emergency responses.
“It is a pleasure for QFES to gift these five trucks to the Papua New Guinea Fire Service, to assist it to build capability and capacity in their mission to protect the community and save lives,” Commissioner Leach said.
“This project would not have been possible without the support of the Australian Defence Force to transport the trucks to Port Moresby.”
Media note: Defence has stringent measures and protocols in place to minimise the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to the Pacific. The loading of the vehicles in Brisbane will be contactless. The delivery and handover of vehicles in Papua New Guinea will be as contactless as possible to minimise direct contact between Australian and PNG personnel. Defence will apply quarantine procedures on return to Australia.