Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

New equipment for volunteer fire fighters and emergency workers

The Australian Government is providing nearly $1.5 million worth of grants to support 22,500 volunteer fire-fighting and emergency workers across the country.

Of this, New South Wales’ fire fighters and emergency workers received over $650,000.

 Senator Ursula Stephens, today announced the support for emergency management volunteers at the Australian Emergency Management Volunteer Forum in Sydney.

Senator Stephens said volunteers make a critical contribution to emergency services and disaster recovery.

“An estimated 500,000 emergency management volunteers across Australia assist in times of great need,” Senator Stephens said.

“The recent bushfires and floods have highlighted, once again, how much Australia depends on volunteers and volunteer organisations.

“Through Volunteer Grants 2009 the Government is giving grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 to non-profit organisations for equipment and fuel, as part of a $21 million commitment for 6,700 community and volunteer organisations Australia wide.

“Small items can make a world of difference for volunteer organisations.

“Computers, safety equipment, fridges, air conditioning and GPS/UHF radio/transceivers popular items among fire-fighting and emergency organisations.

“Wollongong City SES Unit is receiving $5,000 to have to have sirens and speakers installed in four vehicles.

“The Nerrigundah Rural Fire Brigade received nearly $5,000 for a defibrillator and other equipment.

“Volunteering is a key part the Australian Government’s vision of an inclusive Australia where everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

“These grants are a great boost to volunteer fire fighters and emergency workers who work tirelessly in times of disaster and put their lives on the line to protect others.”

For the full list of successful organisations, please visit Volunteer Grants 2009.