JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Senator Mitch Fifield
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector
Senator Guy Barnett
Coalition Scrutiny of Government Spokesperson
SENATE VOTES TO SUPPORT VOLUNTEERS
Thursday 26 November, 2009
The Senate today voted to recognize the outstanding contribution that volunteers and volunteer support organisations make to Australian society.
Liberal Senators Guy Barnett and Mitch Fifield, the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector, moved a motion to say ‘thank you’ to volunteers around the country ahead of International Volunteer Day on December 5, and calling on the Government to continue to support volunteers and volunteer support organisations.
The motion was strongly supported and passed by the Senate.
“International Volunteer Day, which is celebrated on December 5, provides an opportunity to pay tribute to Australia’s unsung heroes,” Senator Fifield and Senator Barnett said.
“Without our volunteers the community as we know it would collapse. For example, our emergency service volunteers such as fire and ambulance officers are critical to our health and safety.
“More than 5.4 million adults, 34% of the population, do voluntary work each year, contributing more than 700 million hours annually,” they said.
“Volunteering is worth over $42 billion a year to our national economy,” Senator Fifield and Senator Barnett concluded.
Attached: Senate Motion Recognizing Volunteers as passed 26.11.09
Draft NOTICE OF MOTION
Senator Barnett and Senator Fifield: To move – that the Senate notes:
1. The outstanding contribution volunteers and volunteer supporting organisations make to Australian society, estimated to be worth over $42 billion per annum;
2. That more than 5.4 million adults (34% of the population) do voluntary work each year, contributing more than 700 million hours annually;
3. That volunteering has benefits in promoting a sense of community belonging, personal fulfilment and professional skills development for those who volunteer, as well as providing services to the community that may otherwise not be provided by Government;
4. The sacrificial efforts of volunteers and volunteer organisations throughout Australia is under recognized and undervalued and without them society as we know it would collapse;
5. That International Volunteer Day will be celebrated around the world on 5 December 2009; and
calls on the Government to continue to recognize and support volunteers and volunteer supporting organisations in our community.