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Western Power supports volunteers with $45,000 direct grants

National Volunteer Week 2020 has been given an extra boost this year with Western Power and the Bushfire Volunteers association announcing a partnership to deliver more than just reliable electricity to many of WA’s Local Government Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades – being $45,000 in direct brigade funding.

The Western Power Bushfire Volunteers Grants Program 2020 invites Local Government Bush Fire Brigades within Western Power’s service area to apply for direct funding for items and other services that are not able to be purchased via the State Government’s Emergency Services Levy (ESL).

Western Power Asset Operations Executive Dave Fyfe said Western Power was a long-time supporter of the AVBFB and was pleased to have formalised this through the annual grants program three years ago.

“WA’s volunteer firefighters play an important and vital role in our community and Western Power is proud to be able to support them in protecting lives, homes and businesses from damaging bushfires,” Mr Fyfe said.

Bushfire Volunteers’ Executive Officer Darren Brown said the program is extremely popular and deeply appreciated among the organisation’s 20,000 volunteer members.

“The support that Western Power has provided to our member brigades over the years has been invaluable,” Mr Brown said.

“Although the ESL pays for most of the critical things our amazing volunteers need to be safe and comfortable while protecting our community, brigades routinely spend a lot of time and effort fundraising for important things that the State Government’s Emergency Services Levy won’t pay for.”

“For example, chainsaws and chainsaw training, portable fridges to keep food and drinks cold in fire trucks, water tanks to fill water tanks at brigades that aren’t connected to water mains, toilets, extra hand-held radios or mobile phones for volunteers and a myriad of other important items are simply not funded.”

“Western Power’s ongoing support has enabled the Bushfire Volunteers association to help many brigades procure critical equipment and services like these and reduce the amount of time our already busy volunteers have to spend fundraising and lobbying,” Mr Brown concluded.

Applications for grants open today and will close at midnight 15 June 2020. Funds will be distributed to successful applicants before early August 2020.

The online application form can be accessed at bushfire.org.au/programs/westernpower