The Victorian Coalition Government is providing unprecedented funding of more than $38 million to the Victorian State Emergency Service (VICSES), Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan announced today.
The Coalition Government today outlined its support for emergency services as part of the 2011-12 Victorian Budget, including an additional $9.3 million VICSES funding over the next four years.
“This additional $9.3 million, which delivers on the Coalition’s commitment, will ease the pressure on hardworking volunteers and enable them to continue supporting Victorians,” Mr Ryan said.
“This funding represents an investment in the future and will help VICSES continue its great response to emergencies and helping Victorians in need.
“This increased funding will give VICSES the flexibility it needs to support volunteers and continue proudly serving the community.”
Funding for emergency services in the Budget includes:
- $9.6 million to continue the VICSES Emergency Response Volunteer Support Program;
- $9.3 million for a VICSES Valuing Volunteers Program;
- $13 million for additional staff to fill gaps in the key Incident Management Teams and provide warnings and information to communities; and
- $6 million to purchase command and control vehicles and critical communication equipment.
“As we’ve seen only too recently in the January floods, Victoria’s emergency services work around the clock in times of need, performing critical tasks, saving lives and protecting property across the state,” Mr Ryan said.
“This additional funding will allow VICSES to employ volunteer support officers, enhance volunteer training and boost its capacity to tackle storms and floods.”
Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government would provide $9.6 million over four years to fund VICSES’s Volunteer Support program.
“Victoria’s SES volunteers consistently display unwavering commitment in responding to disasters so they deserve to have the best support and training available,” Mr Ryan said.
“VICSES volunteers have become increasingly burdened with administrative duties, taking them away from operational work and training. It is estimated that Valuing Volunteers will release over 81,567 volunteer hours for training or operations,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Coalition Government is providing additional resources to help free volunteers from the clutches of paperwork and allow them more time in the field and with their families.”
The Budget also includes $19 million for VICSES Command and Control and Operational Capability.
Mr Ryan said the Budget funding would enable VICSES to significantly improve the services it provided to the Victorian community.
“In particular, it will improve the capacity of the VICSES to warn communities of impending floods through the use of flood intelligence,” Mr Ryan said.
“The VICSES already fulfils a critical role in the community, and with the additional Coalition Government support announced today, VICSES will be able to continue preparing to effectively deal with the threat of disaster.”