New dozer to assist firefighting effort

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today welcomed a new first-attack D6 dozer to further support firefighters and planned burning operations in East Gippsland

Through Victorian Coalition Government funding, the $700,000 Caterpillar D6 dozer is a welcome addition to the state’s equipment resources.

Mr Bull said the new dozer will complement existing plant and equipment within the district and greatly improve the capability for planned burn preparation and firefighting.

“First attack dozers play a critical role during planned burns and fires,” Mr Bull said.   “They clear access tracks and construct control lines for burns and fires and during fires they also support on-ground firefighters to protect both public and private assets.”

Just hours after the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) team at Bairnsdale welcomed the arrival of their new bulldozer at Swifts Creek, it was put to work undertaking track clearing and boundary preparation works for planned burning.

Staff across the region met north of Swifts Creek to familiarise themselves with the new machine and undertake training in its operation before it was put to work in the field.

DEPI’s Infrastructure Manager for Gippsland, Peter Jephcott, said there will be no shortage of work for the new dozer, once training for the DEPI team at Bairnsdale is complete.

“It’s got quite a job ahead of it - the new machine replaces an old dozer that has successfully serviced the area for over 10 years,” Mr Jephcott said.

“When the new dozer is not being used for fire suppression, it will assist with preparations for planned burning and road maintenance.”

The Caterpillar D6 comes with state-of-the art technology includes GPS tracking systems and a range of safety features to allow it to operate in forested areas.

The new edition is one of two D6 Dozers replaced this year by the Coalition Government, making up a permanent fleet of 47 bulldozers.