Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

More volunteers to share in $10 million

An additional $10 million will be distributed to assist volunteers in more than 4,400 community organisations across Australia in response to an unprecedented funding application round for Volunteer Small Equipment Grants (VSEG.)

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, announced today that due to unprecedented demand in the 2006 funding round he had secured an additional $10 million in funding to meet the demand, taking total funding in the ’06 round to $16 million.

"These grants have been allocated to volunteer organisations which demonstrate that their work significantly contributes to supporting families and strengthening local communities," Mr Brough said.

"The grants are used for a wide variety of purposes; for example, by Meals on Wheels organisations to purchase new equipment such as urns and kitchen utensils and; first aid kits and GPS equipment for local Scout groups.

"This funding brings total funding for small grants and small equipment since 2001 to more than $45 million with more than 21,000 community organisations across Australia sharing in the funding.

"The funding is used to purchase a wide variety of equipment to make the work of volunteers easier, safer and more enjoyable.

"Through VSEG, the Coalition Government and community organisations are able to further support the invaluable work that volunteers around the country are undertaking every day," Mr Brough said.

A hotline service on 1800 197 760 will be available to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

This extension concludes the 2006 VSEG funding round. Future VSEG rounds will require new applications.

More information is available on the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website.