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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4315..


MS DUNDAS: I move:

That the report be noted.

Just briefly, for the information of members, this is, I think, the third of the inquiries the administration and procedure committee has undertaken arising from the first privileges inquiry of the Fifth Assembly. This particular report into the status of volunteers raises some interesting questions about the status of volunteers in members' offices and how the work they are seen to be doing is judged not only by managers in our offices but also by insurance companies and by the secretariat support staff of this Assembly.

Even though this is the last sitting day of the Fifth Assembly and the ability of this government and this Assembly to do much with this report is limited, I recommend that all members of this place read it. There is some very important discussion in this report about the status of volunteers in members' offices that I think every member needs to be aware of. This relates specifically to how we engage volunteers and what we ask volunteers to do. There was a detailed submission from Volunteering ACT about the status of volunteers that has led to the presentation, with this report, of a draft agreement between members and volunteers to be entered into by both the volunteer and the member.

There is also some discussion in relation to how the cost of insuring volunteers in our offices is met. The committee recommends that each individual member be responsible for meeting the cost of insuring volunteers through their discretionary office allowance. It is not mentioned in the report but if members are using their discretionary office allowance for that purpose, then corporate services will be able to assist members in making sure that that insurance is adequate.

I commend this report to each individual member of this place. I hope they take the time to read it so they are aware of their responsibilities in relation to volunteers in their offices. In the next Assembly we can formalise some arrangement so everybody is covered, and thus continue to support volunteers in our offices.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Administration and Procedure-Standing Committee

Discussion paper 1

MR SPEAKER: I present the following report:

Administration and Procedure-Standing Committee-Discussion Paper 1-Review of standing orders, dated 25 August 2004, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

MS DUNDAS (12.21): I seek leave to move a motion authorising the paper for publication.

Leave granted.


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