The Victorian Coalition Government will provide $56.8 million to boost the state's emergency services infrastructure and equipment, Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan announced today.
Mr Ryan said funding in the 2012-13 State Budget would build on the Victorian Coalition Government's commitment to strengthening Victoria's emergency services response with significant resources allocated for a new emergency communications system and major upgrades to Country Fire Authority (CFA) assets.
Specific funding measures in the 2012-13 Victorian Budget include:
- $21.7 million over four years to assist the emergency services sector to prepare for the end of current communications service contracts, integrate the VICSES into Incident Control Centres and improve existing technology to reduce the risk of a Triple Zero system failure;
- $22.9 million to build or upgrade rural fire stations across the state; and
- $12.3 million for the CFA to acquire additional vehicles, providing crews with access to the technology, operational capability and safety features offered by new vehicles.
"Funding for emergency communications will be used to commence the Emergency Services Communications Master Plan," Mr Ryan said.
"This important plan will help overcome disparate, out-dated communications systems and poor regional coverage that has created significant challenges for fire crews and communities in the past."
Mr Ryan said the Budget included ongoing investment in CFA infrastructure and resources.
"More than $22 million has been allocated in this year's Budget to build or upgrade CFA stations in regional areas, as part of the Coalition's commitment to upgrading 250 CFA stations over our first term in government," Mr Ryan said.
"$12.3 million has been allocated to fleet infrastructure upgrades to help the CFA best deliver on a range of services it provides such as road rescue, hazardous materials response and structural collapse.
"The funding will mean the CFA will be better resourced to enable a more effective and efficient fire fighting service, whilst providing enhanced safety for crews.
"The Budget is shaped by the economic challenges of the present, but its focus is on securing the future. We are taking a responsible and necessary approach to enhance frontline services and rebuild the state's finances," Mr Ryan said.