Estimates Committee B (Cox)
Thursday 26 June 2008

Emergency Management
Special Emergency Operations Appliances
Mr FINCH - In table 24.2 note 3, on the subject of grants, there are two special operations appliances which are budgeted for to the tune of $500 000.  Can I get an explanation of what they are?

Mr BROWN - We have taken on additional responsibilities over recent years for some special operations activities.  The Commonwealth has provided us with additional funding and equipment in the counter of terrorism arena so it is chemical, biological and radiation equipment.  Between ourselves and police we handle most of the equipment for that sort of role.  It is also urban search and rescue, so collapsed structures and being able to respond to those.  Those vehicles are now part of the response mechanism that we use.  Also there is an intention to use those vehicles for road accident rescue in the future, but at the moment that is under review.

Mr FINCH - These two appliances?

Mr BROWN - Yes.

Mr FINCH - Are they big appliances, like a fire engine?

Mr BROWN - They are 13 tonne trucks.

Mr FINCH - They are substantial; will we recognise them if we see them driving around?

Mr BROWN - You will see them as a red truck.  A lot of people may not identify them as being anything much different from the fire appliance, but they do not have water on board and pumps.

Mr COX - With respect, Mr Finch, you will not know the difference.

Mr FINCH - Those of us who wanted to be a fireman when we grew up, we would be pleased to know that those sort of vehicles are out there.

Are they based in Hobart?

Mr BROWN - The first two vehicles were for Burnie and Launceston, I believe.

Mr FINCH - The two that we are talking about in respect of this $500 000, where are they to be?

Mr BROWN - One is in Burnie at the moment and the intention is, once the second one is finished, it will be in Launceston.

Mr COX - The other one is currently under construction