Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan today announced the Coalition State Government would provide $11 million for volunteer groups to purchase new emergency equipment.
Speaking at Life Saving Victoria’s Port Melbourne headquarters, Mr Ryan said under the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP), grants of up to $100,000 would be made available to enhance the capability of local volunteers responding to emergencies.
Mr Ryan said the new program, which replaces the previous Community Safety Emergency Support Program, would help a broad range of volunteers continue to provide vital emergency support to Victorians.
“From surf lifesavers to firefighters, volunteers are the backbone of emergency services, so the Coalition wants to ensure they have the best equipment available,” Mr Ryan said.
The VESEP will contribute $2 for every $1 of funding up to $100,000.
Mr Ryan said the $11 million in grants could fund emergency equipment including trucks, tankers, boats and trailers, as well as fund building upgrades and refurbishments.
“The VESEP program will help ensure volunteers are better equipped to respond quickly and effectively to emergency events, whether they are bushfires, floods or heatwaves,” Mr Ryan said.
“Victoria’s volunteers consistently display dedication and an unwavering commitment during periods of emergency.”
To be eligible for a VESEP grant, an emergency services volunteer group must, within two years prior to an application being made:
- have performed a role or discharged a responsibility of an agency, as defined by the Emergency Management Act 1986; or
- be able to demonstrate a history of emergency services in Victoria.
Emergency services groups must also obtain independent expert confirmation that they meet this definition.
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