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Firefighters to be deployed to Australia

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Internal Affairs

5 December 2006
Media Release
Firefighters to be deployed to Australia

New Zealand rural firefighters will be deployed to Australia to help fight fires in Victoria, Australia, Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker said today.

"A formal request was received today from the Department of Sustainability and Development in Victoria for a deployment of New Zealand rural fire service personnel to help fight recent high fire activity in Victoria, in particular in the North East, Alpine and Gippsland areas," said Rick Barker.

"A deployment of 47 rural firefighters will be sent this Thursday and is scheduled to return on 23 December. It is possible they will be replaced by a second deployment," said Rick Barker.

New Zealand and Australia have a mutual assistance agreement covering the provision of fire fighting capability in times of need.

“I am pleased New Zealand is able to lend a hand to help our Australian neighbours in their time of need. I am sure the deployment will do New Zealand proud and I wish them all a safe return," said Rick Barker.

ENDS

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