Minister strengthens international ties


Police and Emergency Services Minister, Michael Gallacher has met with the Botswana High Commissioner, His Excellency Molosiwa Selepeng, to discuss the ongoing Australia/Botswana Fire Management Assistance Program.

Minister Gallacher applauded the work of NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers and staff, who have:

  • Trained more than 2,000 Batswana in basic firefighting skills
  • Provided 55 local firefighters with training and leadership skills, through a "train the trainer" initiative
  • Trained 60 people as Crew Leaders.

"The success of this Program is a testament to the internationally-recognised expertise of the Rural Fire Service," Minister Gallacher said.

"It also demonstrates the initiative and self-reliance of the Batswana, who I understand aim to become regional leaders in bush fire-fighting and fire management."

Minister Gallacher agreed with His Excellency the High Commissioner that there is still more to be done.

"While the results that have been achieved so far are outstanding, it is important that training is cemented by the proper fire management infrastructure – such as communications centres."

Another contingent of Rural Fire Service trainers and experts left for Botswana on 22 July 2011.

"The visit from the High Commissioner has reinforced the significance of the Fire Management Assistance Program.

"That's why I will be contacting the Federal Attorney General - to encourage his Government to continue supporting this ground-breaking initiative." Minister Gallacher concluded.

Contact Name: Tess Salmon (Minister's Office)

Contact Phone: 0467 740 017