Energy Minister praises Energex’s community support

Queensland’s Energy Minister Mark McArdle has used the state parliament’s assessment of the 2014-15 Budget to highlight Energex’s community support program.

Responding to a question from State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee member Kerry Millard regarding energy business support for local community resilience programs, the Minister praised the energy industry companies’ strong social conscience.

“Seven years ago, Energex and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service formalised an agreement to support long-term operational and community outcomes,” he told the committee.

“One of the key components was to assess how financial support from Energex could assist grassroots community volunteers with direct funding for key operational equipment.

“Over the years, half a million dollars worth of equipment has been provided directly to brigades across South East Queensland to assist them to keep their local communities safe. It also enables for a better pre-fire season planning and operational response to be put on the ground.”

Mr McArdle also highlighted Energex’s long-running support of Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) squadrons across South-East Queensland.

“The Volunteer Marine Rescue crew based in the member’s seat of Sandgate has benefitted from a long-term support program between Energex and the VMR,” he said.

“Whilst Energex no longer has the naming rights to the Sunshine Coast community helicopter rescue service, it is still a long-term financial supporter and has delivered close to $10 million in total company and community funds over many years to assist with the operations of this invaluable service.”

Mr McArdle said government-owned power businesses Energex, Ergon Energy and Powerlink often looked to engage with and support their local community groups.

“Without that support, a lot of the things that get done in the state would simply not get done for the simple reason that a level of government has only a level of funding available to it,” he said.