Australia grants fund to prevent bushfires

Melbourne, Aug 17 (IANS) The Australian government on Monday allocated $2 million to prevent deadly bushfires from ravaging rural Victorian communities.

Victoria, which was hit by its worst bushfires in 2009, is a hot-spot for summer blazes.

The government said the funds, as part of the Commonwealth’s National Bushfire Mitigation Programme, will go a long way to raising awareness and assisting the prevention of bushfires, Xinhua reported.

Australiam Justice Minister Michael Keenan said minimising the risks for those in bushfire-prone communities was a priority for the government.

“We’re funding projects that will help to minimise risks to communities from bushfires and reduce the costs of reconstruction and recovery.”

Victoria, which was hit by worst ever bushfires in 2009, is a hot-spot for summer blazes.

The bushfires claimed 173 lives and injured hundreds, destroying communities in the process.

Victoria’s Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett, said prevention was the best way to fight the inevitable dangers that bushfires bring during the hot Australian summer.

“Victoria is prone to bushfires and this funding will help to limit the effect and consequences of natural disasters on our communities,” she said.

The grant is part of the Commonwealth’s National Bushfire Mitigation Programme which has allocated $11.06 million to help local communities mitigate the risks across the nation.

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