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SENATOR LOUISE PRATT
ASSISTANT SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND COMMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
As confirmed in Senate Estimates on the 2nd of March 2017, The Turnbull Government has put critical volunteer management and support services in our local communities at risk.
The Turnbull Government and Minister Christian Porter are conducting a redesign of the Strengthening Communities programme, which provides the only source of Federal funding for volunteer management and support services. Under the current proposal volunteer management services would be excluded from specific funding and would be made to compete with other types of organisations.
Senator Louise Pratt, Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Communities said “I am very concerned that the government will not commit to funding for volunteer management services. These organisations provide vital support to community services that rely on their volunteers – from universities, to community sporting groups, to disability and aged care services, to emergency response and more.”
Today, Senator Pratt met with the Canning Volunteer Gateway, managed by Volunteering WA in Riverton, Western Australia. The service operates two days a week and is fully funded under the current scheme.
“Without Federal funding the Canning Volunteer Gateway will no longer be able to support local organisations to recruit, train and support volunteers. This will have a terrible impact on the local community.’
Elizabeth Borrello, the Coordinator of the Canning Volunteer Gateway explained that “these days we are frequently directed to visit a website for information, however for many people this is tough to navigate. Often they are not computer savvy, lacking confidence or language skills - a face to face chat as to why they would like to volunteer and how they find these opportunities are a vital function of a volunteer hub."
The Canning Volunteer Gateway is just one of many volunteer management services around Australia that may not be able to continue operation if this redesign goes ahead.
To find out more about Volunteering Australia’s campaign, go to www.volunteeringaustralia.org
27 APRIL 2017