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2018-19 Volunteering in the Federal Budget

The following article is from Volunteering Australia website.

“There have been mixed results for volunteering in the 2018-19 Federal Budget. While we acknowledge the Government’s contributions to the sector through the Volunteer Management Activity and annual Volunteer Grants, we are disappointed that there is no strategic approach to grow a culture of giving in Australia.

 Volunteering Australia CEO Adrienne Picone said, “We outlined a number of recommendations in our pre-budget submission, but these have been overlooked. Despite some positive measures more broadly in mental health, education, sport and aged care, there is an absence of comprehensive budgetary measures that are aimed at building the capacity of the volunteering sector.”

“There are 5.8 million Australians who are engaged in formal volunteering activities and programs. This figure does not account for the millions of other Australians who informally give their time to volunteering programs, activities and initiatives. This volunteering yields a 450% return for every dollar invested. Nationally this is an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion”, said Ms Picone.

Volunteering Australia also raise concerns on the permitted activities for the Child Care Subsidy, that is due to be introduced from 2 July 2018. It is worrying that volunteering for a P&C, school canteen or coaching of a school sporting team are not permitted volunteering activities for the package, but considered “parental dutys”.

 

Volunteering Australia stresses that parents give their “time willingly”, “for the common good”, and contribute a great deal to the education sector. We urge the Government to revise the scope of permitted volunteering activities as part of the package. Some of the more positive budget measures include a $154.3 million investment in sport over five years, to support Australians to live healthier and more active lifestyles.

 

Volunteers form an important constituent in the sporting sector, with volunteering a key preventative health measure. We look forward to working with the Government on the implementation of the National Sports Plan. The Quality Schools Package, which has $243.5 billion allocated from 2018 – 2027, will also see the introduction of volunteering, mentoring and other extra – curricular activities to enrich student learning. This was a key recommendation from the recent Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, of which Volunteering Australia also
contributed to.”

 

For further information, please the full article.
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