Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Support for volunteers boosted

Volunteering organisations will benefit from reduced red tape and easier access to training following an additional $4 million in Australian Government funding, announced as part of the Federal Budget 2007-08.

Minister for Community Services, Senator Nigel Scullion, today said funding from the Voluntary Work Initiative would be transferred to the Volunteer Management Program (VMP), increasing total funding to $5.7 million.

‘I am pleased to be able to make this announcement during National Volunteer Week. This is a significant boost in government support for the volunteering sector which makes an invaluable contribution to both the social fabric and economy of this country,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘This announcement comes on top of the massive funding boost of $66 million for the very popular Volunteer Small Equipment Grant Program in last week’s Federal Budget.

‘Coming into effect on 1 July 2007 this extra funding for the VMP will deliver a superior national program and provide a comprehensive and consistent approach to volunteer management and training,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘Organisations previously funded under the Voluntary Work Initiative, which provided very specific services, will now be able to expand on their range of training options to volunteers and volunteer managers.

‘This funding will also increase organisations’ ability to support the not-for-profit sector to improve volunteer management processes, to make sure we are using volunteers to best effect.

‘By transferring funding to the Volunteer Management Program, the Australian Government is also reducing red tape for all funded Volunteer Resource Centres.

‘This will result in the Volunteer Resource Centres submitting one set of reporting documents to the Australian Government on a six monthly basis.

‘Continuing the Australian Government’s strong support for volunteering organisations and volunteers, this program’s expansion will further assist those who donate their time to help other people in our communities,’ Senator Scullion said.