A new round of the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) grant stream has opened with The Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland encouraging local CFA and SES units to apply for funding.
The stream provides support of up to $150,000 to Victorian Volunteer Emergency Service groups, with $2 provided through the VESEP program for every $1 of funding contributed.
Ms Cleeland said the broad criteria of the grant will allow successful applicants to fund a range of important projects, upgrades and purchases.
“The VESEP grant stream is incredibly important to ensure local emergency service groups have access to critical infrastructure and equipment,” Ms Cleeland.
“Under this program CFA and SES units can seek funding for operational equipment like chainsaws, generators and rescue and safety equipment.
“The purchase of Vehicles and Appliances is also permitted under the scheme. A new vehicle has the potential to be transformative for a CFA brigade or SES unit.
“Minor facility improvements like refurbishments and fresh amenities can be funded, creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for volunteer members.”
Ms Cleeland also urged applicants to get in touch to receive support for their application.
“I encourage any local units and brigades to get in touch if they are considering applying,” Ms Cleeland said.
“I’m always interested to know what needs to be funded and what can be done to better support our amazing volunteers.
“Additionally, I’d love to write a letter to support any applications coming from across our region.”
Ms Cleeland said she would be looking at the upcoming budget for significant funding increases to the CFA and SES.
“The budget will be handed down in a couple of weeks. While this grant stream is important, we need to see a large scale increase in support for our volunteer emergency service workers,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Last year the offerings for the CFA were paltry. We need to be supporting those who put themselves in incredibly difficult situations with the best possible resources.
“The Victorian Government has matched The Nationals commitments to fund a new Kilmore SES facility and a co-located Heathcote CFA-SES unit.
“This came off the back of strong community advocacy and I have pushed Ministers to ensure these vital upgrades are included in the May budget.”
To find out more about the VESEP Program and apply on line visit the Emergency Management Victoria (emv.vic.gov.au) website.