The Morrison Government will provide $9 million to local community groups and organisations to support the work of Australia’s volunteers.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the funding would go a long way to support organisations and their volunteers through what has been a tough year.

“The bushfires had a devastating impact on many of our people and communities across the country and we are now living through a global pandemic,” Minister Ruston said.

“Volunteers freely give their time and skills to support others and will play a key role in communities over the next few months. This funding recognises the sacrifices they make to help deliver vital services to those who need it most.”

Minister Ruston said the funding injection coincides with National Volunteer Week running from May 18 to 24. 

“It’s vital we acknowledge the important contribution of our 8.7 million volunteers nationwide,” Minister Ruston said.

“While the work of our volunteers may be unpaid it is not unrecognised. From fighting bushfires, delivering food to vulnerable Australians in isolation and helping out with the weekend sport, they are all local champions.”

The $9 million funding is being shared across 2,698 organisations, with each organisation eligible for grants between $1,000 and $5,000 to help them continue delivering local volunteering support.

In total, New South Wales community groups will receive $2,909,455, Victoria $2,381,770, Queensland $1,778,170, Western Australia $915,010, South Australia $611,440, Tasmania $312,350, ACT $179,100 and the Northern Territory $119,910.

Nationally, volunteering has an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion.