Election Candidates Asked to ‘Vote for Volunteering’
16 June 2016 at 11:19 am
Peak body, Volunteering Australia has launched its federal election platform called Vote for Volunteering, calling on candidates to formally take an online “pledge” to show their support.
The campaign calls on candidates to pledge to work in partnership with the volunteering sector to support the work of volunteers, volunteer managers and volunteer-involving organisations if elected on 2 July.
Volunteering Australia CEO Brett Williamson said volunteering in Australia contributed an estimated 743 million hours of time to the community and $290 billion in economic value.
“Volunteers and volunteer managers work across every aspect of Australian society – from health services, to sport and recreation, and emergency services, from looking after our libraries, to looking after our pets, from caring for disadvantaged people and the elderly, to caring for our environment,” Williamson said.
“But just like Australia, the way that we volunteer is changing. In 2014, the number of Australians volunteering dropped for the first time in 20 years, yet Volunteering Australia’s recent State of Volunteering Report found that 86 per cent of organisations don’t have as many volunteers as they need.”
Volunteering Australia’s Vote for Volunteering pledge reads: “This federal election, I’m taking the pledge to Vote for Volunteering I acknowledge that volunteering supports the work of the federal government through the delivery of core programs, making a significant contribution to the Australian economy and society.
“I further acknowledge that the delivery of successful volunteering programs requires adequate funding that must keep pace with the growth in demand. I am concerned by reports that the number of volunteers in Australia is decreasing and believe government must show the leadership required to encourage more people into volunteering.
“I pledge to work in partnership with the volunteering sector to support the work of volunteers, volunteer managers and volunteer-involving organisations if elected on 2 July.”
Williamson said that for the Not for Profit sector, the candidate pledge would mean a new national volunteering strategy that is non-partisan and developed in partnership with Volunteering Australia and other relevant sectors, a commitment to increased federal funding to volunteering that is managed sustainably, consistently and transparently, and an acknowledgement that the work of volunteering crosses all portfolios of the government, and must be administered accordingly.
“By taking the pledge to Vote for Volunteering, candidates are making the commitment if elected to support the continued growth of volunteering and stronger, healthier, more resilient communities,” Williamson said.
The names of the candidates who take the pledge will be listed on the Vote for Volunteering website here.