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Emergency volunteers to benefit from equipment grant

A new round of the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) has opened.

Emergency services agencies and volunteers will get the resources and equipment they need to keep serving and protecting their communities.

Minister for Emergency Services, Jaclyn Symes, announced applications are open for the latest round of VESEP, an annual grants program that provides funding to Victorian emergency services volunteer groups to purchase essential operational equipment such as chainsaws, generators, pumps and rescue and safety equipment.

VESEP funding can also be used by volunteer organisations to purchase vehicles and appliances such as 4WD vehicles, light and medium tankers, rescue trucks and lighting trailers and can also fund minor facility improvements such as refurbishments and amenity upgrades.

This year almost $15 million in grants is available to volunteer organisations across the state from the CFA, VICSES, Life Saving Victoria, Volunteer Marine Search and Rescue units and other volunteer emergency service groups.

Victorian volunteer emergency service groups can apply for a grant of up to $150,000 with the Government providing $2 for every $1 of funding contributed by the local volunteer group.

Since 2015, the Andrews Labor Government has invested almost $110 million in VESEP grants to volunteer groups across the state, improving the service to local communities and encouraging more people to take up a rewarding experience as a volunteer.

Recent recipients include Newry and Wurdale CFA brigades, which received grants to support the purchase of ultra-light tankers, Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club and Lakes Entrance Coast Guard which received grants for vehicles, and Cobden VICSES unit which received a grant towards a utility terrain vehicle and trailer.

Applications close Friday 16 June 2023.

“These grants are all about helping ensure our selfless volunteers have the latest equipment to do what they do best – protect communities and save lives,” said Symes.

“These grants have been going strong since they were first set up more than twenty years ago – communities will continue to proudly contribute to local fundraising efforts, but we want to help reduce that task and back our volunteers.”

In other news, Coles has announced the opening of its first Automated Distribution Centre (ADC) in Redbank, Queensland, which is the largest single capital investment in the retail giant’s history.

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