A Wide Bay business is helping to protect communities from fire threats, with assistance from a $497,500 grant announced by Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien.
Noosa-based company Helitak has developed state-of-the-art firefighting technology, by adapting an expandable underbelly water tank on Super Puma helicopters, assisting with aerial waterbombing to protect lives and properties during bushfires.
Mr O’Brien said the $497,500 Accelerating Commercialisation grant would support Helitak to expand its capacity, providing a cheap, safe, efficient, and easy way to enable the Super Puma helicopter to be used in aerial firefighting.
“This grant is supporting Helitak to enhance this cutting edge technology, allowing them to further develop their product with an eye to expanding into global markets and helping to stop bushfires in their tracks,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I congratulate Helitak Firegfighting Equipment CEO and Chief Engineer, Jason Schellaars and their team for their work that is helping to protect lives, properties and animals from destructive fires.”
The Super Puma helicopter tank can fill with 4200 litres of water or fire retardant in less than 50 seconds and drop the entire load or lesser amounts of water or fire retardant as required.
Helicopters can take off and land with Helitak Fire Tanks attached, and they are much safer in flying over urban areas than helicopters using the traditional bucket design.
Mr O’Brien said the Accelerating Commercialisation grants support businesses which exhibit Aussie ingenuity and are working to bring their products to life in new markets.
Since the launch of the Accelerating Commercialisation grants in 2014, 437 grants worth $211 million have been offered to Australian businesses.
“The Morrison Government is backing businesses to realise their potential sooner, which in turn drives job creation and economic growth,” Mr O’Brien said.
“These businesses that are thinking outside the box can inspire others and help to boost jobs and the local economy.”
This is part of the Coalition’s strategic investment in innovation, as part of its broader plan to create 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years.