More than 260 emergency services groups across Victoria will receive funding for vital equipment under the Coalition Government’s record $11.95 million investment in the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).
Speaking from Sale’s Country Fire Authority (CFA) station, Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan said 261 groups would receive funding under the 2012-13 VESEP for a range of operational equipment, vehicles and amenities upgrades.
“The VESEP funding supports the crucial role of local volunteer groups in protecting lives and property and improves their response to fires, floods, heatwaves, storms, or people in trouble in or on the water,” Mr Ryan said.
“This year the Coalition Government is making a record investment in the VESEP providing $11.95 million for vital equipment specifically suited to volunteers’ needs.
“Under the program the Coalition Government contributes $2 for every $1 of funding contributed by local volunteer groups.”
Grants will be distributed across emergency agencies including:
· 166 grants (a record) for CFA brigades for operational equipment and appliances such as quick-fill trucks, tankers and trailers. It will also fund amenities upgrades and equipment for local brigades;
· CFA will allocate $1.4 million to a state-wide initiative that will improve member safety and provide new or replacement equipment such as pumps, generators and fire blankets;
· 37 grants for the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) for vehicle and truck replacement, including road rescue equipment, and funding for a state-wide initiative to replace 25 old 4WD vehicles;
· 33 grants for Life Saving Victoria (LSV) clubs to support mobile patrols, including Inflatable Rescue Boats and All-Terrain Vehicles, to allow for patrols beyond the flagged area;
· Six grants for the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard (AVCGA) for equipment to assist in ‘all weather’ training for volunteers and funding for a state-wide initiative to provide hand-held infrared cameras and safety gear to flotillas; and
· Grants for other organisations such as Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad, Volunteer Marine Rescue, St John Ambulance and Ambulance Victoria Community.
Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition Government supports the state’s 90,000 emergency services volunteers who were fundamental to Victoria’s ability to prepare the community and respond to emergencies.
“In addition to the VESEP grants, the Coalition Government is investing almost $57 million to emergency services in the state budget,” Mr Ryan said.
Media contact: Clare Siddins 0429 507 541
Peter Ryan MLA
Member for Gippsland South | Deputy Premier
Minister for State Development | Minister for Regional and Rural Development