State Emergency Service groups across Queensland will be able to buy more equipment, maintain their trucks and upgrade their buildings thanks to a $1 million Palaszczuk Government funding boost.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford announced the SES Support Grant funding injection, saying it was a fitting end to National Volunteer Week.
“The funding will be provided to groups through their regional councils and what a terrific way to sign off on what has been a great week recognising the dedication and passion of all our volunteers, including the SES,” he said.
“This week we also celebrated Wear Orange Wednesday in honour of our SES personnel, giving us a vibrant and visual way to remember just how important they are.”
Mr Crawford said local governments had submitted applications for grants, with project funding of up to $75,000 for infrastructure upgrades and $30,000 for vehicle upgrades.
“Applications are assessed against the project’s cost, potential benefit to the community, contribution to an efficient SES response, and building safer, more sustainable communities,” he said.
“Funding has been awarded to 28 local governments and will go a long way to improving existing infrastructure and helping our volunteers prepare for and respond to emergencies.
“Some of the communities benefitting include those in the far north, such as Aurukun Shire, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire and Tablelands Regional Council – areas that regularly feel the impact of severe weather events.
“The spread of funding also extends all the way down to the south of the state, including benefits for Sunshine Coast, Redland City and Paroo Shire councils, showcasing just how many people in Queensland will benefit.
Mr Crawford said grant funding would help complete a range of improvements to existing SES group accommodation and vehicles.
“The grants program will allow SES groups to make enhancements to existing facilities including accommodation, sheds and storage spaces, and other amenities,” he said.
“The program also offers funding to upgrade vehicles ensuring our SES volunteers can continue to respond when their communities need them.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said it was vital in Queensland to have well-equipped SES groups.
“This storm and cyclone season, we’ve had tropical cyclones Trevor, Penny, Owen and Ann, as well as the north Queensland floods,” Ms Carroll said.
“It’s vital our volunteers are ready and raring to go during severe weather events and I’m pleased to see the SES Support Grant playing a hand to assist our volunteers and the communities they serve.”
Ms Carroll said there were about 5,600 SES volunteers in Queensland who made up nearly 300 groups.
“In the past financial year, SES volunteers across the state have performed nearly 80,000 hours of operational activity,” she said.
“Our volunteers do so much for their communities and by awarding funds from the SES Support Grant, we can show our recognition for their hard work.”