Posted on 22. May, 2013 in News

A future Labor Government would establish a Ministerial Council for Volunteers to give volunteer organisations a real voice within Government, Shadow Minister for Volunteers John Eren said today.

Mr Eren announced the new Labor policy at a Volunteering Victoria forum in Melbourne convened to discuss youth volunteerism.

Mr Eren said the Labor policy would give volunteers a real voice regular access to the Minister for Volunteers.

“Under a Daniel Andrews led Labor State Government the Ministerial Council would comprise of representatives from key volunteer networks and organisations,” Mr Eren said.

“Volunteers play an important role in the Victorian community and their contribution to support and service delivery and to the economy is significant and too often undervalued.

“Volunteers contribute more than 700 million hours of unpaid work each year to their local communities.

“There is insufficient recognition and support for volunteers under Mr Napthine and this is highlighted by the fact that the Liberal Government does not have a dedicated portfolio for volunteers.

“Significant barriers and impediments exist for volunteers and they do not have a voice in policy making or the policy debate under the Napthine Government.”

Mr Eren said Labor’s policy had been developed in consultation with Victorian volunteer organisations.

“These organisations and volunteers themselves are concerned that their views are either not asked for or indeed not listened to by the Napthine Government,” he said.

“As a volunteer myself at the Salvation Army Northside Centre, Corio, I understand and appreciate the important work that Victoria’s thousands of volunteers do.

“Volunteering above anything else, strengthens our community spirit, gives us a sense of belonging and connects us to likeminded people.

“Labor values volunteerism and I hope that in the future we see more people taking up this great opportunity.”

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