Volunteering peak bodies around Australia are continuing to lobby the Federal Government to reinstate a dedicated funding stream for volunteer management programs and services.
The urgency of the campaign continues to pick up pace following the announcement earlier this year that the volunteer management stream in the Strengthening Communities funding program would be removed when it transitions to the new Strong and Resilient Communities program.
Volunteering Tasmania chief executive, Alison Lai says she has met with a number of State and Federal representatives to advocate for the importance of this funding to Tasmanian volunteer involving organisations.
“I’ve met with a number of politicians and I’m pleased to report that there is an overwhelming support to maintain this funding across all political parties,” Alison said.
“Nationally, Volunteering Australia and the other peak bodies have also been meeting with numerous Federal representatives to raise awareness of the importance of investing in volunteer management programs and services.”
Noting that the Shadow Minister for Social Services, Louise Pratt will meet with the Department of Social Services to discuss the changes, Alison said that she remains optimistic that the funding for volunteer management could be reinstated.
“We remain hopeful that the decision to remove the dedicated funding stream for volunteer management will be reversed,” she said.
“It still remains a mystery to me why the Federal Government would decide to remove funding for volunteer management when they openly acknowledge the value of volunteers to the Australian community.
“I simply can’t stress enough how critically important it is that there is ongoing investment into supporting community organisations to develop and maintain their volunteer work-forces.
“At a time when demand for volunteers is growing, the Australian Government’s decision to remove this funding is extremely worrying and we’ll continue to lobby against the change.”
The Department of Social Services is yet to confirm when the new Strong and Resilient Communities grant program will open.