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Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

$21 million in volunteer grants for community organisations

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Gillard Government is delivering $21 million in local grants to support volunteers at community organisations across Australia.

More than 250,000 volunteers from over 6000 community organisations are set to benefit from the latest round of the popular Volunteer Grants initiative.

Local organisations will receive grants of between $1000 and $5000 to cover the cost of petrol and purchase much-needed equipment such as computers, barbecues, air conditioners and refrigerators.

Petrol reimbursements alone will assist more than 29,000 volunteers, saving them over $2.8 million at the bowser.

For the first time the grants will also help organisations meet the costs of training their volunteers and completing police and background checks.

Volunteers are the backbone of so many of our community groups. Every day they are out in our regional towns and cities, giving their time, expertise and understanding to help people in need, protect the environment and enrich our sporting and cultural life.

The Gillard Government values the enormous contribution volunteers make and this funding will help ease the financial pressure on community organisations and volunteers across Australia.

For example, 241 Returned and Services League branches will share in more than $1 million to help continue their vital work supporting former and current Australian Defence Force personnel.

Similarly, Australia’s largest volunteer-based emergency and fire management organisations, the Country Fire Authority and the Rural Fire Service, will receive a total of almost $660,000 to support over 9,400 volunteers across the country.

These grants will help purchase radio transceivers, breathing apparatus, high pressure cleaners, air conditioners and computer equipment to be used by volunteers in community awareness activities and to respond to emergency situations.

In addition more than 4,800 Meals on Wheels volunteers will share in almost $207,000 to cover training and petrol costs and purchase new kitchen and administrative equipment.

Meals on Wheels volunteers dedicate their time to supporting older people, people with disability and other people in need in our communities. These grants will help reduce the financial burden of volunteering, particularly petrol bills from using their own cars to deliver meals.

A state breakdown of volunteer grants funding is below:

NT

Volunteer Grants 2010
Location Total funding Volunteers to benefit
ACT $161,481 9,229
NSW $7,364,641 91,371
$239,215 2,545
QLD $4,332,084 42,748
SA $1,348,927 17,977
TAS $543,413 4,596
VIC $5,491,955 61,776
WA $1,521,990 23,484
National $21,003,706 253,726

A list of successful organisations can be found at: www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/volunteers/funding/Pages/volunteer_grants2010.aspx