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Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Congratulating South Australia Volunteers

More than 50 per cent of South Australians contributed over 7500 hours of volunteer time last year, Minister for Community Services Nigel Scullion said today.

‘South Australia has a long history of people donating their time and the fact that the rate of volunteering is much higher than the national average is a real testament to the strong community spirit in this state,’ Senator Scullion said.
Senator Nigel Scullion is visiting a range of volunteer organisations in Adelaide and surrounding regions today at the invitation of Volunteering South Australia to celebrate National Volunteer Week (14 – 20 May 2007).

‘Volunteers play such an important role in our community. Whether they are serving at the school canteen, refereeing a footy match, helping at the aged care home or saving life and property as a fire-fighter, volunteers touch all corners of our lives.

‘There are 6.3 million volunteers across the country who contribute an estimated $42 billion to the economy annually.

‘To acknowledge and further support volunteers, I announced earlier this week that the Australian Government will boost funding to the Volunteer Management Program to $5.7 million, across 49 Volunteer Resource Centres.

‘The Australian Government also funds volunteer organisations through Volunteer Small Equipment Grants (VSEG), of up to $3,000 each for the purchase of equipment to make volunteering activities easier, safer and/or more enjoyable.

‘The total funding available under VSEG, over this and the next four years, across the country, is $81.1 million.

‘Furthermore, National Seniors Australia has been funded with $300,000 over the next two years to establish a program to provide volunteering opportunities for senior Australians to share their expertise, skills and life experiences to provide practical assistance in remote Indigenous communities.

‘The Australian Government will continue its unprecedented support for Australians who take the time to volunteer and I appreciate the opportunity to meet the people that make such a difference in our community,’ Senator Scullion said.