Eastern Victorian Councils will receive more funding to help them prepare for and respond to emergencies thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.

An extra $1 million will be invested in the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program, taking the total funding for Victoria’s 64 rural, regional and outer-metropolitan councils this financial year to $5.9 million.

The program pays for planning, communication and co-ordination work to make sure communities are well prepared and resilient.

The funding for local councils can be used for a variety of emergency planning work, including education for culturally and linguistically diverse communities in at-risk areas.

Baw Baw Shire Council, Cardinia Shire Council and Latrobe City Council will each receive an additional $13,200 on top of the $60,000 already allocated.

The partnership of Yarra Ranges Shire Council, Knox City Council and Maroondah City Council, will receive an additional $52,800 on top of the $240,000 already allocated.

Grants can also be used to ensure that emergency work can be done in a COVIDSafe environment.

Before, during and after emergencies, council responsibilities include supporting vulnerable people, running relief centres and enabling economic and social recovery, all while ensuring that important regular services continue to be provided.

Councils routinely use the funding to appoint an emergency management specialist, with some councils collaborating with neighbouring councils to fund a specialist position across their areas.

Councils’ extensive local knowledge and close connection to communities makes them a vital part of Victoria’s response to emergency events.

The Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program began in 2010 in response to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and provided funding for staff and programs to address the issues identified.

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Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane:

“With their local knowledge and close connection to people on the ground, Councils play such an important role in helping communities during emergencies – and we want to continue making sure they can do the critical work of supporting their communities.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing:

“We all know so well just how essential our councils are in helping communities to respond to, and recover after, emergencies. This additional funding is an important part of making sure that councils have the staff, resources and tools they need to provide support and care to the people and areas most in need.”

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