Emergency volunteers to share $13.34m in grants

09 May 2018 Yea Chronicle, Yea VIC VOLUNTEER emergency-service groups can apply for state government grants of up to $150,000 to help buy operational equipment and fund minor facility upgrades. Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, urged Northern Victoria groups to apply for the grants with applications now open for the 2018-19 round of Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program funding. Under the VESEP, the government matches every $1 paid by volunteer groups with a $2 co-contribution, with the government this year increasing its maximum contribution from $100,000 to $150,000. Ms Symes said more than $13.34 million in government contributions is available to volunteer organisations in 2018-19, including almost $9.8 million for volunteer CFA brigades, more than $2.1 million for Victoria State Emergency Service units, more than $320,000 for Marine Search and Rescue, including the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association, almost $800,000 for Life Saving Victoria clubs, and more than $350,000 for other volunteer agencies. The Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program helps provide our hard-working volunteers with the equipment they need to respond to emergencies and keep Victorians safe, Ms Symes said. We have a number of great volunteer emergency service groups in our region and it is important they apply for these grants so we can give them the equipment they deserve. VESEP grants can be used to help fund operational equipment, including the purchase of new vehicles, trucks, tankers, watercraft and trailers. Volunteer groups can also put the money towards minor facility improvements. For more information about the VESEP visit emv.vic.gov.au/vesep