Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney today encouraged local emergency services volunteer groups in Colac Otway Shire to apply for the 2008 round of Community Safety Emergency Support Program (CSESP) grants.
The CSESP grants program is open to local CFA brigades, VICSES Units, Life Saving Victoria Clubs, Australian Volunteer Coastguard flotillas and CERT teams.
Ms Tierney said cornerstone of this year’s $3.75 million CSESP round was special purpose funding of $1.3 million for slip-on units for CFA brigades, following consultation with the CFA, volunteer associations and volunteers across Victoria.
Ms Tierney said she particularly encouraged local CFA brigades to apply for the Brumby Government’s special allocation of funding for the slip-on units. Slip-on units are small fire fighting vehicles with a 400-litre water capacity, designed to get to a fire quickly and suppress it.
“The usefulness of the slip-on units was demonstrated during the 2006-2007 fire season, when they were able to access difficult areas, which couldn’t be accessed by a large fire truck,” Ms Tierney said.
“They are designed to quickly get to a fire and suppress it before it becomes a larger fire.”
Ms Tierney said priority would be given, under the special purpose program, towards funding slip-on units for those brigades with the greatest operational need.
She said local emergency services volunteer groups had already benefited from the CSESP program, including:
– Beeac – Field command vehicle – Nissan Navara D40 – $33,333
– Colac – Extension to Local Head Quarters – $21,667
– Apollo Bay – 4wd rescue vehicle – $22,000
– Winchelsea – Command and control vehicle 4wd – $28,000
– Kennett River – Building works – $14,137
Ms Tierney praised the tireless efforts of local volunteers and encouraged them to apply for the program so they would benefit from additional equipment.
“Our local emergency services volunteers do an outstanding job, often under very difficult conditions,” Ms Tierney said.
“They risk their lives not only protecting our community, but assisting other communities around the State during times of extreme emergency, like major bushfires, floods and storms.
“This funding program is about giving them the opportunity to buy specialist equipment to help them carry out their important work.”
Ms Tierney said since the Brumby Government’s CSESP program began in 2000, it had funded 730 grants to local emergency services groups, which together with contributions from volunteers and communities, had allowed the purchase of new vehicles, buildings and equipment worth more than $39 million.
She said that the Brumby Government’s CSESP grants program was designed to provide additional assistance to emergency service volunteers over and above the Brumby Government’s record resourcing of Victoria’s emergency services.
“The combined budgets of Victoria’s emergency service agencies have more than doubled since 1999 – from $254 million to $585 million this year. This has allowed these agencies provide their brigades and units with the essential equipment needed for them to do their job,” Ms Tierney said.
Ms Tierney said this year’s State Budget year’s alone delivers an additional $20.5 million towards emergency services initiatives across Victoria.
She noted that the grants program helps build successful partnerships between communities, volunteers, emergency service organisations and Government.
“The CSESP grants are just another way we support those who support their communities every day of the year, Ms Tierney said.
“Together we’re making our world-class emergency services even stronger.”
To apply, local groups should contact their agency’s CSESP representative.