24 March 2021

Tania Maxwell MP, Member for Northern Victoria, has joined the Beechworth community in welcoming news that the local CFA brigade has been awarded one ultralight vehicle in the latest round of VESEP grants.

Ms Maxwell said that Beechworth CFA was celebrating the news as a ‘one down, one to go’ approach after originally applying for two ultralights for the region.

She congratulated Beechworth CFA captain Bruce Forrest for bringing the community together to campaign for new ultralights, saying these were essential to keep the community safe in the event of fire.

Ms Maxwell said she was pleased to advocate on behalf of Beechworth, raising the need for new
ultralights for Beechworth CFA in June 2020, and writing to the Minister for Emergency Services in December 2020 before raising the matter in Parliament again in February 2021.

Ms Maxwell said she would continue to push for a second ultralight to be allocated so that Beechworth had the full resourcing necessary to respond to fires in the high-risk Gorge and other areas.

Bendigo Bank is providing a $22,000 grant to the CFA which will meet the co-contribution requirements of the VESEP grants.

“Beechworth has fought long and hard to get a new ultralight and I was really pleased to work closely with Bruce Forrest and the Beechworth CFA to advocate to the Government.”

“Using the words of the Beechworth CFA captain himself, it’s a ‘one down, one to go’ approach from here, and we’ll keep pushing for a second vehicle to be allocated in the next available round.”