A new light tanker is helping Mannerim Fire Brigade keep the Bellarine Peninsula safe thanks to a $200,000 Victorian Government grant.

Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville officially recently handed over the 1400-litre tanker and she congratulated the volunteer brigade for their dedicated service to the community.

The vehicle is a welcome boost to the brigade’s firefighting capacity, both locally and as part of strike teams deployed across the state. The new vehicle also provides the volunteer firefighters greater safety when attacking fires.

It can carry a crew of three firefighters, as well as the equipment needed to respond to fires and other emergencies.

The total cost of the tanker was $236,000, with $200,000 provided courtesy of the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP).

Ms Neville said, “I congratulate the Mannerim Fire Brigade on its successful application for a Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) grant, which was complemented by its local fundraising efforts.”

The VESEP funds operational equipment for volunteer emergency-service brigades, units, and clubs, including tankers, trucks, trailers, watercraft and minor facilities upgrades.

The remaining $36,000 was sourced through fundraising initiatives organised by the brigade, including sausage sizzles, garage sales and generous community donations.

Mannerim Fire Brigade was founded in 1943, and currently has 63 members.

“Mannerim’s volunteer firefighters do a wonderful job protecting the local community, and this new light tanker is an excellent addition to its capabilities. Ms Neville said.

It has sent strike teams to some of the biggest emergencies in the state’s history, including the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983 and the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

More recently, it has provided support to surrounding brigades at major fires at the Bellarine waste-disposal site in 2016 and the Drysdale gas depot in 2017.