Hawkesdale CFA has received a crucial contribution towards the cost of a new field vehicle in Moyne Shire's latest round of community grants.
The new round of grants, approved by council at its most recent meeting, funded 25 community projects with the shire contributing over $79,000.
The first round of Moyne's community assistance fund was undersubscribed, leading to a second round of grants.
A range of projects were funded across the shire. Caramut Football Club received $6,900 to paint its changerooms, while Yambuk Hall got $5000 to fix its leaky roof.
The Hawkesdale brigade received $11,000 from the new grants.
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He said the next step would be to apply to the Victorian Emergency Services Equipment Program (VSESP) for more funding.
"We now wait for VSESP to come out next year, hopefully around June, and that will give us $2 for every $1 that we have," he said.
The brigade had been saving since last year, but was still at least $21,000 short of having enough to apply to VSESP.
We're funding a lot of projects that could be funded by other sources.- James Purcell
A new vehicle cost around $80,000, Mr Stewart said.
"We used to buy a cab chassis and build our own vehicles, but it's outsourced now, we buy them direct from CFA," he said.
Mr Stewart said they were tipped off that there was money available in the fund.
"We weren't going to apply to council for funding this year, but were told by a councillor that there was money there in the CFA fund and we would get more money this year than if we applied in 2022," he said.
He said the Hawkesdale vehicle was the oldest in the district, so he was confident they would get approval through VSESP.
"It's only got 60,000 kilometres on it, so we're pretty happy with it, but they like you to renew them.
"We will know by September next year and then hopefully get the vehicle in time for the 2022-23 fire season," he said.
Mr Stewart said the brigade had planned to apply for funding through the Macarthur Wind Farm grants, but pulled out after applying to council.
Cr James Purcell said the number of different grants programs available in the shire meant it was time to review to scheme.
"When the community assistance fund started 10 to 15 years ago it was the only grant fund around, but now there are a lot of different funds," he said.
Cr Purcell said the council scheme should either be narrowed to target projects that weren't funded by other schemes, or council should oversee all the grants programs for the shire.
"We're funding a lot of projects that could be funded by other sources.
"Rather than using rate payers' money for those projects we could open up the grants to others to spread the benefits," he said.
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