Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

$81 million to further assist Volunteer Organisations

The Australian Government will significantly increase funding to volunteer organisations, providing an additional $66.0 million over this and the next four years for small equipment grants.

“Volunteer Small Equipment Grants (VSEG) is one of the most popular programs under the Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy and the Australian Government is not only significantly boosting funding, but also enhancing the program by providing funding dedicated to volunteer sporting organisations,” Mr Brough said.

“This $66 million boost takes to $81.1 million total funding available under VSEG over this and the next four years and demonstrates the Howard Government’s commitment to volunteer organisations across Australia.

In total the program will provide around $18 million a year for the next four years, allowing grants up to $3,000 for:

  • A massive expansion of the current VSEG program that will allow approximately 4,500 community organisations to purchase necessary equipment that supports their valuable contribution to their local communities, and
  • In a new Howard Government initative, VSEG – Sport, an estimated 2,500 volunteer organisations which contribute to sporting activities to encourage participation and better health, particularly involving young people.

“VSEG funds a broad range of equipment needed by volunteer organisations, such as computers, lawn mowers and sunshades and, with the inclusion of VSEG – Sport, other items, such as club sporting equipment, uniforms and training can now be purchased.

“Individual grants up to $3,000 go a long way to supporting the more than six million volunteers in Australia ,” Mr Brough said.

“I’m absolutely delighted the Government is able to further recognize the vital role of volunteers in our community with this substantial increase in funding.”

Volunteer Small Equipment Grants – expansion

Why is this important?

  • The Government will provide funding of $66 million to volunteer organizations over this and the next four years to further boost assistance to volunteers through the Volunteer Small Equipment (VSEG) program, bringing the total expenditure to $81.1 million.
  • The funding will include an additional $36.2 million over the coming four years to the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants (VSEG) program. The new programme will enable around 4,500 community organisations each year to receive grants for the purchase of equipment. The number of applications for these grants increased by 50 per cent from the 2005 to 2006 round and this additional funding will help respond to this demand.
  • A new VSEG – Sport component will also provide a dedicated $5 million a year (an estimated 2,250 grants) for volunteer organizations, particularly those that support the involvement of children in community based physical activities that contribute to community sporting participation and health. VSEG – Sport will provide grants for not for profit, volunteer organisations to help cover costs such as club sporting equipment and uniforms, training of volunteer coaches, and travel to participate in sporting events.

Who will benefit?

  • VSEG provides funding (currently up to $3,000 GST inclusive) to help Australian community not-for-profit organisations purchase equipment to directly support volunteers whose work contributes to supporting families and communities in Australia.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • $66 million over four years.

What have we done in the past?

  • The program has funded a broad range of equipment such as computers, lawn mowers and sunshades to a diverse range of organisations including welfare, sport and recreation, art and cultural organisations.
  • There are approximately 6.3 million volunteers over the age of 18 in Australia. Investment in volunteering provides long-term benefits for communities including improved community well-being and safety, and positive social outcomes.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This is an ongoing measure.