The NSW Government will inject more than $2 million into recruiting volunteers and developing their leadership skills to enhance disaster resilience across NSW, following a visit from the Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott today.
Mr Elliott said the funding would be divided between the NSW Community Resilience Innovation Programs (CRIP) which receives $1.4 million and $630,000 for the Emergency Volunteer Support Scheme (EVSS).
The Dubbo and Barwon region will specifically benefit from $100,000 CRIP funding going toward an initiative called Local Leaders -
Expanding Community Driven Resilience Program (CRIPs) to develop effective leaders amongst local volunteers.
The EVSS will use its funding to promote volunteer agencies including the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Services and Marine Rescue in NSW to boost the number of volunteers and develop their practical skills.
"As I travel across the State like I am today, I'm always humbled by the great number of volunteers who are willing to put themselves in harm's way to protect their communities when called on. It is important we give back to them." Mr Elliott said.
The communities come together during a time of natural disaster and it is vital they receive the best support possible.
This Government will always be there to assist volunteers and today's announcement is another example of that. The funding will allow volunteers to develop their leadership skills during a crisis and bring more people to the agency,
Mr Elliott and Mr Saunders also announced $2 million over three years will go toward enhancing aviation options at Dubbo airport for the RFS's air fleet.
The funding will allow the airport to better accommodate Large Air Tankers. It also includes installing a bore to reduce the burden on the town's water supply during operations as well as other improvements.
Finally, Mr Elliott also provided a $7000 grant for the local SES and Volunteer Rescue Association unit at their joint facility in Dubbo. This funding will go toward purchasing a new trailer and installing a secure storage area.
Local tradies for first pick
We are pleased to announce the NSW Government will introduce an e-Tendering initiative to enable local tradies to procure school maintenance jobs in the region.
Tradies in the region will have precedence when it comes to procurement for maintenance jobs at local public schools, with the new online system allowing businesses to engage directly with the NSW Government on projects in the region.
The online procurement process will ensure businesses in the Dubbo electorate are better supported throughout the drought.
This new approach to tendering for school maintenance projects will provide approximately 25,000 opportunities to quote for work across the State, with an estimated total value of $50 million.
As a Government, it is crucial we continue to prioritise the employment of local businesses where we can.
Deputy Premier and Leader of the NSW Nationals John Barilaro said this well-timed initiative is part of the Government's continued commitment to stimulating local economies during this unprecedented drought.
"We need to give local businesses in areas like the Dubbo electorate every opportunity to keep money local and the economy ticking over," Mr Barilaro said.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the 2019-20 NSW Budget provides more than $620 million to clear the school maintenance backlog in all public schools by July 2020, bringing the total maintenance investment to more than $1.3 billion over five years.
"This Government is making good on our promise to clear the school maintenance backlog, with almost half the work already completed," Ms Mitchell said.
"Through this new system, local tradies will be given more opportunities for the uptake of local jobs, and schools will be able to work alongside trusted businesses."
The new platform will be fully operational early next year.