Page 1936 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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MS GALLAGHER: Volunteers give their time for a wide range of activities in the ACT. The most common areas where you will find volunteers are at sporting groups, schools, community welfare groups, religious groups and where parents are volunteering to support their own children’s activities.

Volunteers also make a significant contribution to the arts and the environment. They contribute to cultural institutions and significant events which make the ACT an engaging place for both tourists and locals. They protect and restore the environment through initiatives such as Landcare and Clean Up Australia Day. In 2012, 6,990 Canberrans volunteered with Clean Up Australia Day and removed 264 tonnes of rubbish.

Many essential services in the ACT are enhanced or provided by volunteers. I mentioned some across the health system but they are also very much a part of animal welfare and emergency services. Volunteers support us in times of individual or community vulnerability. That is particularly an acknowledgement to the emergency services volunteers.

The work is very diverse, with volunteers contributing to international aid and development, justice, political parties, recreational groups and ethnic groups.

The point we are trying to make today is that they make a fantastic contribution to living in Canberra. They make it the city we are and we acknowledge them this week.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is it for the government to support volunteers across the territory?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. It is very important that the government and individual directorates in particular acknowledge the work of volunteers. I think they do that routinely. It certainly enhances the services that we can provide and opportunities like National Volunteer Week give us the opportunity to speak publicly about the contribution that volunteers make.

There will be a number of events through the week. Like the event that was held in the Health Directorate on Monday, I expect that there will be similar events where the contribution of volunteers is acknowledged and thanked.

Child care—standards

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. On Wednesday, 1 May the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority published a snapshot of how childcare centres are meeting the national quality standard introduced in 2012. The snapshot found that only 13 centres in the ACT met or exceeded the standard. Minister, why are so many centres in the ACT failing to meet the new standards?

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