SES left short by capped councils
Victorian councils have blamed rate capping for their decision to scrap grants to the State Emergency Service.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants have been axed by almost a dozen councils, who say they can no longer afford to match State Government grants to the volunteer service from next financial year.
Councils including Darebin City Council, Glen Eira City Council, Central Goldfields Shire, Buloke Shire, Campaspe Shire, Baw Baw Shire, Gannawarra Shire, Corangamite Shire and Mitchell Shire will reportedly stop matching State Government funding for the SES next year
Insiders say more councils will follow, when the State Government’s limit of a 2.5 per cent rate increase comes into force on July 1.
Victoria has about 4500 SES volunteers standing by to respond to floods, storms, car crashes and other emergencies.
SES chief Stephen Griffin said councils were making the wrong move.
“I am concerned volunteers will feel the support from local government changing and they will feel disenfranchised. That is a real concern,” he told News Corp.
“The community understand how important the SES work is,” Mr Griffin said.
“Local councils are saying rate-capping and less grants is putting the pressure on them.
“[But this] means the units will have to fundraise, or dip into their own reserves.”