Symes urges volunteer groups to apply for $150,000 grants

09 May 2018 McIvor Times, Heathcote VIC (General News) by Lachlan Durling 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. Member for northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes urged local 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 $350,000 for other volunteer agencies. This 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 groups in our region and its 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 visit