NSW Labor have announced that, if elected, they will invest in a new, world-leading natural disaster detection system to better protect communities in high risk areas of NSW.
Designed and built in Australia, the advanced early warning systems will use sophisticated sensor technology to predict changing weather patterns in real-time. This will give local residents time to evacuate safely and direct emergency service workers to the highest risk areas.
NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns said that Labor would work tirelessly to help people rebuild and be protected moving forward.
“Sadly, natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe in our state.”
“These new systems are desperately needed, and long overdue.”
Labor claims the $3.3 million investment will offer significantly better early warning for floods and fires compared to existing methods. Similar systems are already established in other states as well as New Zealand.
The commitment comes after experts on the independent NSW Flood Inquiry warned that current disaster warning systems are outdated and inadequate. Last year’s floods were Australia’s most expensive natural disaster, with an estimated cost of $5.5bn, leaving communities devastated.
The announcement yesterday somewhat bizarrely focused on a Western Sydney, including $225 million for a Western Sydney Floods Resilience Plan to bolster flood prevention and evacuation infrastructure across Western Sydney, and a commitment to draft new rules and streamline planning processes to stop new developments on dangerous Sydney floodplains. The Northern Rivers got a passing mention.
Labor has also committed to hiring an additional 600 new Fire and Rescue NSW firefighters over the next eight years.
Anoulack Chanthivong, NSW Shadow Minister for Industry & Trade, said it’s great that the world class technology is Australian made.
“This early detection environmental sensor technology is world class, will save lives and property, support our emergency service workers, provide long-term growth in manufacturing and employment opportunities, and it’s available right here in Australia.”