Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Government delivers over $6 million to volunteers

Australian Government funding of over $6 million has been announced to deliver grants of up to $3,000 to more than 2,800 community organisations across Australia.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, today announced the successful recipients of the 2006 Volunteer Small Equipment Grants (VSEG).

"This is the eighth time the Howard Government has delivered these grants, with over $35 million distributed to approximately 16,800 community organisations across Australia since 2001," Mr Brough said.

"The grants have been allocated to volunteer organisations which demonstrated their work significantly contributes to supporting families and strengthening local communities.

"This funding helps these organisations purchase a wide variety of equipment items to make the valuable work of volunteers easier, safer and more enjoyable.

"This includes the purchase of equipment such as urns, microwaves, computers, lawn mowers and tools – items which make a significant difference to volunteers’ work, and which organisations may not have otherwise been able to afford."

Mr Brough said that this round of VSEG attracted an unprecedented 15,000 applications reflecting the popularity and usefulness of the grants.

"While in any single round only so many can be funded, I was so impressed by the nature of the applications in general that the Government has determined to automatically roll over most of the unsuccessful applications so they can be considered in the next round.

"Volunteers provide essential support and services to members of the community who are most in need, and the Howard Government will continue to support organisations’ commitment to their communities," Mr Brough said.

All applicants will be notified in writing as to the outcome of their application, with a full list of successful applicants available on the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website.