Page 1855 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

(e) all ACT public servants are entitled to three days paid community service leave per year; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) promote this existing community service leave entitlement to all staff within ACT Government agencies;

(b) support all ACT public servants to utilise their community service leave each year; and

(c) seek the support of the Assembly to have all Members of the Legislative Assembly lead by example and undertake at least three days of volunteering each year, auspiced by a community sector organisation.

Members will not be surprised to hear me say that I am pleased to bring this motion to the Assembly today on the importance of supporting and participating in volunteering. This is a timely motion, with National Volunteer Week occurring from 9 to 15 May 2011, being the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, the theme of which is “Inspiring the volunteer in you”.

The ACT government values the significant contribution of volunteers. Volunteers have an essential role in the wellbeing of our community and in many ways they embody the finest qualities of a healthy community. It is a matter of considerable note that Canberra has the highest rate of volunteering in Australia, with 38 per cent of the population involved.

There are a few statistics which are of interest. According to the 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics records, over 94,000 ACT residents volunteer over 10 hours of their time per week. The annual ACT average contribution of each male volunteer was 111.6 hours and each female 102.9 hours a year. I think you will agree that these figures are interesting in terms of the myth that volunteering is something that mainly women undertake.

Approximately 6,000 ACT residents each year volunteer for emergency and other community safety type activities and 11.2 per cent of Canberrans volunteer with sporting or other physical recreational organisations. As the Minister said in question time yesterday, 30,000 Canberrans volunteer in sport and recreation annually. 28.7 per cent of Canberrans volunteer with organisations that relate to community and welfare, education and training, health, parenting and young people, or religion, and 84 per cent of the organisations for which people volunteer are in the not-for-profit sector, with 14 per cent in the government sector. As of 30 June 2010 police volunteers had contributed 94,413 voluntary unpaid hours since the volunteers in policing program commenced in December 2001. Some 41.5 per cent of ACT women and 35.2 per cent of ACT men volunteer.

All age groups participate significantly in volunteering. However, in the ACT the highest representation for women is in the 35 to 44 years bracket and for men the 45 to 54 years bracket. The rate of volunteering has increased over the last 10 years.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video