THE Lake Eppalock Coast Guard will have a fresh start thanks to funding from the state government, the group's deputy commodore says.
The guard, along with the Bendigo SES, have received a share of $1.42 million to improve infrastructure and facilities.
Colin Ritchen, deputy commodore of the western Victorian squadron, said the money would go towards upgrading their meeting room with a new office, toilets, and training space.
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The guard would also receive a new primary vessel to replace their 36-year-old unseaworthy vessel.
"We are just so grateful for the Victorian government and Emergency Management Victoria to step in and help us out," Deputy Commodore Ritchen said.
"It's really exciting that we have been able to get the funding to back those two projects. We can say to our members and community to watch this space.
"It's going to look fresh and new, and the capacity for our region is going to grow."
Deputy Commodore Ritchen said the group had been looking to replace its ageing vessel for about seven years.
He said the group initially received funding to purchase a new vessel in 2013, but the business that was contracted to build the boat went bankrupt and never finished the job.
"It has been an ongoing saga," Deputy Commodore Ritchen said. "We have had our ups and downs with a lot of promises.
"But everyone has been working hard and made considerable efforts to address the issue we have up here."
Deputy Commodore Ritchen said the upgrades would improve the response time for volunteers, therefore making Lake Eppalock a safer space.
He said it could also attract more volunteers to the service.
"Recruitment has been very difficult, simply because a 30-plus-year-old vessel doesn't look very good," Deputy Commodore Ritchen said.
"The new facilities and new boat will generate a whole lot of new interest and hopefully new members and volunteers."
Deputy Commodore Ritchen said the group hoped the replacement vessel would arrive in time for the summer holiday period.
TWO emergency service units in Greater Bendigo will receive $1.42 million to improve infrastructure and facilities.
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the Lake Eppalock Coast Guard and Bendigo SES Unit would receive money from the Emergency Services Refurbishment Fund.
The organisations were among the 125 projects sharing in $20 million from the state government.
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The Lake Eppalock Coast Guard would receive funding to build a new meeting room, which would include a new office, toilets, and training space.
The coast guard would also receive a new primary vessel to replace the current unseaworthy vessel.
The Bendigo SES unit's funding would go towards an external refurbishment of their site.
It meant existing corrugated iron cladding and roofing would be replaced, a collapsed ceiling would be repaired, and heating, cooling, switchboard, toilet, and showers would be upgraded.
Ms Allan said the funding would extend the lifespan of the services.
"These three projects will improve the condition of critical infrastructure and ensure that emergency services in Bendigo will be able to continue their incredible work keeping the community safe," Ms Allan said.
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