The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is congratulating local volunteer emergency service groups who have successfully applied for one of 300 grants totalling over $14 million that was recently distributed as part of the 2021-2022 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).
Mr O’Brien said volunteer emergency services like the CFA, SES, Surf Life Saving and Marine Search and Rescue (MSAR) units are crucial to the well being of our community and its residents and he is delighted to see some much-needed funds delivered.
“I am aware that a number of volunteer emergency services groups in Gippsland South have been desperate for facility and equipment upgrades for some time now and it is great to see some of the funds being delivered,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Our emergency service volunteers are invaluable, and it is crucial that they have the equipment they need to assist in a crisis – just like we have seen with the recent storms that ravaged homes across Gippsland.
“These funds will go towards things like minor facility upgrades, essential operational equipment and vehicles.”
The following Gippsland South Volunteer Emergency Services were successful in receiving funds from the 2021-2022 VESEP:
- Foster SES – $69,471.59 to be used towards the purchase of a Toyota Hilux
- District 10 CFA – $46,900 to be used towards the purchase of a hose pressure testing trailer
- South Gippsland CFA – $125,000 to be used towards the purchase of an ultralight vehicle to be housed at Meeniyan and Stony Creek stations.
- Rosedale CFA – $56,667 to be used towards the purchase of a forward command vehicle
- Strzelecki CFA – $ 85,000 to be used towards the purchase of a forward command vehicle – to be housed at Berrys Creek station
- Seaspray SLSC Inc – $35,687 to be used towards the purchase of a Toyota Hilux
- Venus Bay SLSC – $8,460 to be used to purchase equipment
Mr O’Brien said while it is wonderful to see funds on the table for equipment and minor facility upgrades, he remains concerned that many local emergency service volunteers continue to operate out of unsuitable facilities.
“For years now I have been highlighting the desperate need for new fire stations at Yarram, Foster, Golden Beach and Mirboo North.
“The brigade volunteers at these fire stations are left operating out of an outdated shed that can barely fit their truck.
“The current stations are not designed to cater for modern trucks resulting in a cramped an unsafe facility for the volunteers.
“Our firefighters do so much for the local community and they need to have modern up-to-date facilities that are fit-for-purpose.”