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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1404 ..

pass on that knowledge to the next generation. Ms Burch mentioned how important it is that sometimes volunteers, both young and old, can get together on the one project. The ACT government’s vision is that we can all enjoy an inclusive community that supports our most vulnerable members and enables everyone to reach their potential. It is only possible with the contribution of volunteers, and that is why it is so important and that is why we are talking about it today.

I think that we ought to be aware that volunteers are not necessarily a bottomless pit, as it were. Older people are more and more often choosing a variety of other activities to fill their lives with once they retire, which is a fantastic thing. But those that manage volunteer organisations and the government need to be aware of that, because research into the baby boomers generation has shown that about three-quarters of the baby boomers may choose to do things other than regular volunteering.

Those that regularly volunteer will be looking to volunteer in organisations that are supportive. Ms Bresnan mentioned the importance of support and training for those volunteers. Many volunteers will choose selectively to go to those organisations that best support them. Additionally, numbers of people will chose what we call episodic volunteering—they will occasionally volunteer. These people will do that to fit in with other activities they have, such as study or travel. Still more will choose to continue in the paid workforce for much longer or take on paid consultancy work. Of course, unpaid consultancy work still goes on, and that is something that volunteers do. Pro bono work is probably not recognised as volunteering by many people, but there are many law firms that provide pro bono work through older members of their staff particularly, assisting organisations in that important area of legal advice.

You can see that volunteering is a very diverse field. It is also a very valuable field when we look at the economic and social lives of our society, but it is also one that we must support if we wish it to continue. We must always be conscious of the cost of volunteering to the community and to the individual as well as the benefits. I am very pleased to be able to recognise older volunteers during Seniors Week.

Motion agreed to.


MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3:48): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the complete and utter failure of the Stanhope Labor government to manage the ACT budget sustainably;

(b) the lack of action by the Treasurer in the 2008-09 budget to prepare the territory for further budget shocks;

(c) the failure of ministers to identify spending cuts within their portfolios;

(d) the subsequent:

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