A record investment in new vehicles, equipment and communications has highlighted the Brumby Government’s commitment to supporting our volunteer emergency services throughout the Victoria, the Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP announced today.
Ms Tierney said the record $215.5 million emergency services budget centres on ensuring Victorian communities are better prepared to address future emergencies before the next bushfire season.
She said that the 09/10 State Budget package included additional support for the CFA and VICSES included the following for Polwarth and the South West Coast:
• a Heavy Tanker for the:
– Camperdown CFA;
– Koroit CFA;
– Timboon CFA;
– Spring Creek CFA; and
– Winslow Yarputuk CFA
• a Light Pumper for the:
– Anglesea CFA;
– Port Fairy CFA; and
– Winchelsea CFA
• a new inflatable rescue boat for Colac VICSES
• a Heavy Rescue Hino for:
– Warrnambool VICSES
– Heywood VICSES
“This State Budget’s record investment ensures that our local volunteer emergency services have the equipment and resources they need to serve our community,” Ms Tierney said.
“The additional funding will boost the capability of our volunteer emergency services right across the State to respond to natural disasters such as fires, floods and storms and assist in rescues.”
“The Brumby Labor Government is making the right investments to keep Victorian families safe and rebuild after the bushfires.”
Ms Tierney said this was part of a massive emergency services package which includes:
• $21.1 million to replace 87 CFA appliances over the next year;
• $10.3 million to replace 15 heavy rescue vehicles, 7 four wheel drive vehicles, 9 rescue boats and 11 road crash rescue kits and 18 road rescue trailers at VICSES Units across Victoria; and
• $10.3 million for 42 new ultra light tankers for the CFA.
Ms Tierney said that under the package announced in the 2009 State Budget, the 000 and emergency communications service would be also be boosted.
She said $56.2 million would be provided to the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) to improve its capacity to manage calls and dispatch units with the Country Fire Authority, Ambulance Victoria and the State Emergency Service.
In addition, $57.1 million had been allocated for new radios and to provide upgrades to the radio and pager network used by emergency services in the field.
This upgrade builds on the $450 million investment in communications since 2000.
“The unprecedented magnitude of this summer’s fires highlighted the need for further improvements to the state’s emergency communication capabilities,” Ms Tierney said.
“This funding will improve communication and boost the safety of emergency service workers across the state.
“While a Royal Commission has been established to investigate the fires, this funding will enable improvements before the next fire season.”
Further to this, an investment of $20.7 million is being made to improve communication blackspots across the State, plus enhancements to the bushfire information line.
“Since our Government came to office, Victoria’s expenditure per person on fire services has increased from the second lowest in the nation to the highest in the nation – in recognition that Victoria is a fire-prone state.”
“The CFA and VICSES do a tremendous job in protecting Victorians and their property across the state and the Brumby Labor Government is committed to supporting these vital organisations by investing record funding in their operations,” Ms Tierney said.