United Arab Emirates gifts seven Category 13 Bulk Water Carriers to Australia

The Government of the United Arab Emirates has generously gifted seven Category 13 Bulk Water Carriers to Australia after witnessing the unprecedented fire devastation in 2019/2020.

GLOBAL CITIZEN: UAE Ambassador, H.E. Abdulla Al Subousi, in front of one of the seven fire trucks at Varley's Tomago plant.

GLOBAL CITIZEN: UAE Ambassador, H.E. Abdulla Al Subousi, in front of one of the seven fire trucks at Varley's Tomago plant.

And in a real coup for Port Stephens, Tomago firm Varley Vehicles was given the honour and privilege of building the fire tankers worth $3.5 million.

The seven fire tankers are valued at $3.5 million and will be spread across NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), ACT Emergency Services Agency, Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services, and Country Fire Authority Victoria (VIC CFA).

The official handover of the vehicles from the UAE Ambassador, H.E. Abdulla Al Subousi, to the NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott was conducted on Monday at the Varley Tomago plant, where the vehicles have been manufactured.

Varley CEO Jeff Phillips said that is was a proud day for the management and staff of the Port Stephens firm.

"The time taken from the initial design stage to completion of the fire trucks was approximately six months," Mr Phillips said. "All seven have been meticulously prepared and manufactured and are now ready to be rolled out."

ADDRESS: NSW RFS Commission Rob Rogers addresses the media at Monday's presentation at Varley in Tomago.

ADDRESS: NSW RFS Commission Rob Rogers addresses the media at Monday's presentation at Varley in Tomago.

The UAE has a strong and long history of friendship with Australia and felt the need to do their part to support the Australian fire-fighting efforts. After discussions with Emergency Management Australia the UAE decided the appropriate support was to gift seven new fire trucks to various emergency agencies across some of the harshest fire affected areas of Australia.

Mr Al Subousi said the gesture was done in goodwill. "We enjoy a wonderful relationship with Australia and we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Australian friends in times of hardship," he said.

"I would say everyone would have heard the news of last year's devastating bushfires and been touched in some way. Donating these fire trucks is just one way we can offer our support.

"We are equally impressed with the resilience shown by this country's emergency and frontline services ... putting their lives at risk to save life and property."

The Ambassador said that the UAE was a responsible global citizen and the largest donor nation in the world per capita. "We help around 120 counties around the world and Australia is one of our largest partners so it seemed natural for us to step in after watching the events of last fire season unfold."

Emergency Minister David Elliott said that he was in awe of the generous donation, following such a devastating period in Australia's history. "Firefighters can only do so much, they also need the kit. These trucks will set a new standard in fighting fires, by providing the most updated IT and training to keep Australians safe."

NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said that the $3.5 million gift (Category 13 tankers) had been a significant acquisition and could mean the difference between saving a home or not. "The Ambassador can be assured they will be put to good use."

GREAT OUTCOME: Varley representatives with guests and media in front of the seven fire trucks.

GREAT OUTCOME: Varley representatives with guests and media in front of the seven fire trucks.

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