Transport backs up fire fight with new tank

28 October 2020

A new 30,000-litre water tank installed just off the Pacific Highway at Clybucca will help frontline crews fight future bushfires by allowing trucks to fill up quicker.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said Transport for NSW installed the tank, which has capacity to refill up to 10 firefighting trucks, after NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews struggled to access water along a stretch of the highway during last summer’s horror bushfires.

“Following last year’s bushfire season, the RFS identified that the wildlife protection fences installed along a 28-kilometre upgraded section of the Pacific Highway at Clybucca had the unintended effect of preventing crews from accessing any dams or other water sources on properties along the route,” Mr Toole said.

“This new tank is a great solution to that, and will go a long way in helping volunteers continue the amazing efforts they put in to keep local communities safe and keep transport corridors like the Pacific Highway open.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said a post-bushfire review had led to the successful collaboration between Transport for NSW, the RFS and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW).

“The issue was discussed during a post-bushfire review carried out by the Lower North Coast Bushfire Management Committee, which comprises representatives from a number of bodies, including Transport for NSW, and I’m so pleased we were able to deliver a positive outcome for all parties,” Mr Elliott said.

Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the new secure water tank had been installed at the highway’s southbound Clybucca rest area, between Stuarts Point and Eungai Rail.

“The exclusive use of this 30,000-litre tank of water is for fighting bushfires and extinguishing vehicle and truck fires along this section of highway,” Mrs Pavey said.

“It’s a great outcome for the local community and for the men and women on the frontline fighting bushfires.”

RFS Inspector Wayne Leader said firefighting vehicles could carry about 3,000 litres to an incident, which means the new tank could completely refill 10 vehicles before needing to be refilled itself.

“Fire agencies who run out of water at this location have typically sourced water from either Eungai Rail or Frederickton to continue fighting the fire, so providing a water source at Clybucca ensures they can access a reliable source of water much more quickly,” Insp Leader said.

“This would result in the Pacific Highway being able to reopen more quickly in most cases.”

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