Geelong emergency service units share in grants


Ash Bolt

Volunteer emergency service crews across South Barwon have shared in more than $100,000 of state government funding to upgrade their equipment and facilities.

The state government last week announced it would provide $14.3 million in grants to 303 volunteer emergency service units across the state under the 2020-21 Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program.

South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman said $101,800 of grants would be given to seven units across the South Barwon electorate, allowing them to carry out important facility improvements and purchase operating equipment and vehicles.

The largest grant locally has gone to the South Barwon SES unit, which received $24,000 towards a back-up power generator.

The Grovedale CFA unit received $20,000 for station renovations, while the Jan Juc Surf Lifesaving Club has received $20,955 for a new vehicle, appliances and operational equipment.

Two Torquay groups have received funding, with the Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club receiving $9372 for an inflatable rescue boat hull and Torquay Marine Rescue getting $5000 for lifejackets and other equipment.

The final grants were awarded to the Bellbrae and Gnarwarre CFA units, which received $17,600 for a generator and $4874 for minor facility upgrades respectively.

Under the program, the government matches every dollar paid by volunteer groups with a $2 co-contribution up to $150,000 per project.

“These grants will give our volunteers the equipment and facilities needed to effectively carry out their duties,” Mr Cheeseman said.

“The Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program is an important annual program providing a critical boost to local volunteer units to ensure their equipment, facilities and assets are up-to-date.”