Two fire brigades will be better equipped to tackle fire in the tough Upper Murray terrain thanks to a generous donation from a former Victorian businessman.
Nariel Valley and Cudgewa CFA, who were in the thick of the 2019-20 bushfires, have received new ultra-light tankers, worth $135,000 each, following a $350,000 donation to the CFA from businessman Ben Luckock and his parents John and Lauraine.
Mr Luckock grew up in Victoria but has since moved overseas and watched from afar as the fires ravaged Australia last year said he felt "compelled to help", so called on the help of family, friends, his colleagues and global business associates to raise the money to assist brigades from different parts of the state.
The donations were split across four CFA brigades identified by the Luckock family - Barwon Heads was allocated $66,000 for a replacement forward command vehicle and Swifts Creek received $14,000 to complete an existing grant funding requirement.
Cudgewa brigade captain Paul Carkeek said the donation will help the brigade boost its service to the community.
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"These vehicles are better suited to take on the terrain in our response area, so it will be beneficial to have one of our own," he said.
"We are thankful for the outstanding support the Luckock's and the wider community have shown to the brigade.
"These donations have increased our capability and self-reliance in many aspects."
Mr Luckock said the Barwon Heads fire brigade is particularly close to his heart.
"It's where my parents now live in retirement, so it was important to me that we help bolster the brigade's equipment to help it better protect lives and property," he said.