Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Volunteers Benefit From Equipment Grants

The Howard Government will provide funding of over $3 million to volunteering organisations for the purchase of equipment which will enable them to continue their invaluable role within local communities.

Minister for Families and Community Services, Mal Brough, today announced the opening of applications for the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants (VSEG) 2006.

"Over the last ten years, the Howard Government has provided more than $60 million in funding to assist volunteers and volunteering organisations carry out their important work, including nearly $30 million for small equipment grants since 2001," Mr Brough said.

"It is estimated that 836 million hours of voluntary work is carried out by Australians annually with 41 per cent of Australians undertaking volunteer activities.

"To assist with the tireless efforts of these volunteers, the Government is again providing the opportunity for not-for-profit organisations to receive up to $3,000 to purchase portable equipment which will assist their volunteers in their work.

"In previous years, this has included the purchase of a range of equipment such as computers, lawn mowers, gardening equipment and sun shades.

"Volunteers provide essential services to those members of the community who are most in need, and the Government is committed to supporting their dedication and selfless commitment to others.

"I encourage all not-for-profit organisations to submit an application by 5.00PM AEST Friday 21 July, to make the work of their volunteers easier, safer and more enjoyable," Mr Brough said.