Record Funding Continues For Emergency Services Volunteers

Record funding continues for emergency services volunteers

• Victorian Coalition Government matches record funding of $12.23 million for the 2014-15 VESEP program
• Program assists emergency services volunteers purchase extra tools and equipment they need to keep the community safe
• Coalition Government building a better and safer Victoria

The Victorian Coalition Government will match last year’s record funding for a key grants program that assists emergency services volunteers purchase extra tools and equipment they need to keep the community safe.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells announced today that the Coalition Government had committed $12.23 million to the 2014-2015 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).

“The Coalition Government has always placed a high priority on our volunteers who are the backbone of our emergency response and generously give their time responding to needs of others in emergencies such as fire, floods, storms or water rescues,” Mr Wells said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to supporting our volunteer emergency services and I am pleased that a further $12.23 million will be provided in 2014-2015, which will match the record funding the government allocated last year.

“In recognition of the significant contribution by emergency service volunteers, since 2010 the Coalition Government has invested more than $48 million in the VESEP Program.”

VESEP provides grants to our emergency services for extra equipment, such as generators, inflatable rescue boats and chainsaws as well as vehicles and station refurbishments.

Grants funding is available to volunteer emergency services organisations including Country Fire Authority (CFA), State Emergency Service (SES), Life Saving Victoria (LSV) and the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA).

“The VESEP program allows volunteer emergency services organisations to purchase additional equipment, which will further assist them in responding to emergencies and provides volunteers with the tools and resources they need to perform their job.”

Mr Wells said applications are now open for 2014-2015 grants. Last year a record 300 grants were allocated to various volunteer organisations across the state.

Among the major beneficiaries were:

• CFA – $8,873,800;
• SES – $2,047,800;
• LSV – $716,442; and
• AVCGA – $294,026.

While most of the grants were provided to individual emergency services groups, Mr Wells said that some of the grant funding assisted statewide initiatives.

“The AVCGA in Victoria received $72,000 to purchase 250 new life jackets to increase safety on coast guard vessels, with LSV receiving $50,000 to equip every club across the state with new life jackets,” Mr Wells said.

“I strongly encourage all eligible groups to apply for funding under this program, which will greatly assist our volunteer organisations, providing them with the tools and equipment they need to carry out their roles safely and efficiently.”

Volunteers can find out more information about the VESEP program through their relevant organisation.

Media contact: Jess Jackson 0437 422 048
[email protected]