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Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Volunteers to share in $18 million grants

Up to $18 million is now available for community groups through the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants (VSEG) 2007 program.

The massive $66 million increase in funding over four years, announced in the recent Federal Budget, means more volunteer organisations will be able to purchase equipment, enabling them to continue their valuable community work.

"Today I’m announcing the opening of the seventh round of VSEG grants and I encourage all groups to apply for up to $3,000 to purchase equipment that will assist their volunteers," Mr Brough said.

"VSEG is a very popular program which provides funding to groups to purchase equipment they need to help deliver their services.

"The program also serves to recognise the hard work and dedication of our volunteers who do such important work throughout our community.

"For the first time this year, the Howard Government is also providing funding through VSEG specifically for community sporting organisations, particularly groups that support and encourage the involvement of children and I would encourage sporting organisations to apply.

"About a third of this funding round will be devoted to sporting organisations.

"Since 2001, the Howard Government has provided more than $45 million in VSEG funding to more than 21,000 organisations.

"In previous years, VSEG has supported groups through the purchase of equipment such as BBQs, trailers, first aid kits and sunshades for a range of groups such as the Scouts and volunteer fire fighters.

"I encourage all community organisations to apply for funding through VSEG and VSEG – Sport, another way the Australian Government is supporting the hard work of our dedicated volunteers."

Applications close Friday 22 June 2007.

For more information on VSEG 2007 or to obtain an online application form and guidelines visit the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website or call 1800 183 374.