Volunteering Australia and the State and Territory peak volunteering bodies have released a response to the Australian Government Compensation Scheme.
Volunteering Australia understands that the Australian Government’s compensation scheme for emergency service volunteers is a response to the current 2019-20 bushfire crisis and is not a precedent for permanent payments. Given the concerning trend of falling numbers of emergency service volunteers, increased consideration needs to be given to such matters as the composition and structure of the emergency management workforce, in particular how volunteers are engaged, resourced and valued.
There is a range of options that should be explored to strike the right balance of support and resourcing for our volunteers which will not undermine the spirit of volunteering or bring about unintended consequences. Read the full response here.
UPDATED: The Centre for Volunteering and other State Volunteering Peaks have worked with Volunteering Australia to present a position paper for the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) meeting to be held on March 13. Read our position on the Australian Government Compensation Scheme for Emergency Service Volunteers here.