NSW is expanding the footprint of its national parks and stepping up measures to protect them from bushfires.
More than 200,000 hectares were added to the NSW national park estate on Friday and NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean has promised to double that by 2022.
Narriearra Station in the state's far northwest has been made a 153,682 hectare national park, providing a refuge for more than 25 threatened animal species.
The property, bought in June, is the largest purchase of private land as a national park in NSW history.
Over 1000 hectares has also been added to Capertee National Park near Lithgow, boosting protected habitat for the critically endangered regent honeyeater, while 66 hectares has been set aside for Maria National Park near Kempsey to protect more critical koala habitat.
Since 2019, more than 270,000 hectares of national parkland has been added statewide.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service's firefighting capabilities have also received a boost, with another $29 million in funding announced as part of the government's response to the NSW Bushfire Inquiry.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian established the inquiry in January in the midst of a catastrophic and unprecedented bushfire season in which 25 people died, almost 2500 homes were razed, more than 5.5 million hectares were burned and billions of animals perished.
More than $21 million will go to keeping 125 frontline firefighters in their positions for another 12 months, with $1 million also promised for improvements to the NPWS tanker fleet.
"These boots on the ground will enable the NPWS team to increase hazard reduction activities in high risk areas close to property by 20 per cent," Mr Kean said.
The additional resources and the already announced NWPS helicopter will enable the team to chopper into some of the state's hardest to reach areas and contain bushfires before they get too big, he said.
A million dollars is also set aside for wildlife injured by bushfires.
The announcement comes a day after the royal commission into last summer's horror bushfires handed down its report, outlining 80 recommendations to be implemented at state and federal level.
Among its recommendations, the royal commission proposed the federal government have the power to declare a national emergency for such disasters.
It also called for Australia to develop its own aerial firefighting fleet and introduce more consistent warnings and fire danger ratings across the country.
Australian Associated Press
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