Victoria State Emergency Service Chief Executive Officer Stephen Griffin has prepared the following statement following the article on page three of this morning's Herald Sun newspaper, "Councils' SES snub".
"The Victorian State Government pays annual municipal subsidies to assist volunteer units in meeting operational costs. It is our expectation that local governments match the subsidy paid to volunteer units on a dollar for dollar basis.
VICSES units have traditionally been dependent on local government for unit accommodation and funding. This was confirmed in an agreement signed by Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and the Victorian State Government in 1989. Our view, along with the Victorian State Government, is that this agreement should be honoured by local governments.
Our priority here at Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) is obviously to ensure that our volunteers retain the tools they need to undertake their valuable work.
And our volunteers do a lot. They’re professional, highly trained and dedicated to their mission of making their local communities safer through preparedness and response activities for flood, storm, earthquake and tsunami emergencies, as well as road crashes.
We know that our partners understand - as the community does - that the work of SES is important and we’re committed to working with them to find a sustainable outcome to the issue of funding.
I welcome comments from Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett this morning that SES funding will be maintained and current arrangements reviewed."
For more information, call the VICSES media line on 1300 783 933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org