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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5749

TASMANIAN FIRES

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/02/1982

Release Type: Correspondence

Transcript ID: 5749

-7.
4 STALIA~
FOR MEDIA TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 1982
TASMANIAN FIRES
The following letter was sent to the Premier of Tasmania
today:
My dear Premier,
Irefer to your telex of 15 February to me and the Premier of
Victoria concerning the possible use of the Modular Airborne
Fire Fighting System installed in a RAAF Hercules aircraft
for fire fighting in the present Tasmanian fires.
I also have your telex of 16 February in which you advise that
your Government has found it necessary to declare a State
wide special emergency.
The Commonwealth views with concern the serious fire situation
both in Tasmania and Victoria. I am particularly distressed
to learn of the extent of the emergency in your State. I note
from your telex that you have arranged for my Office to be
kept informed of developments and I am grateful for this action..
The Commonwealth obviously stands ready to do what it can to
assist in combatting the immediate danger presented by the
fires. To this end I have asked the Minister for Defence to
assess what immediate Defence resources are available in
Tasmania should you need to call on them. I understand that
your emergency services are in touch with the Natural Disasters
Organisation in Canberra so that any requests for assistance ca~ n
be responded to promptly and in a co-ordinated manner.
I am advised that the difficulties associated with deploying the
Hercules and the associated equipment to Tasmania have been
explained to your officers and that Tasmanian fire authorities
accept that the use of the Hercules would not be a suitable means
of fire fighting at present.
I have also seen the response to your telex of 15 February
from the Premier of Victoria and I am pleased to see that the
Victorian authorities have offered to assist in mobilising smaller
aircraft and providing technical assistance to help you in
your efforts to control the fires. / 2

2
I extend our best wishes to all those engaged in the fire
fighting and I sincerely hope that the crisis will soon be
over. Yours sincerely,
( Malcolm Fraser)
The Hon. H. N. Holgate, MHA
Premier of Tasmania
HOBART TAS 7000 oOOo--

Transcript 5749