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Communities benefit from emergency volunteers.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.ag.gov.au/ag

10 January 2007 003/2007

COMMUNITIES BENEFIT FROM EMERGENCY VOLUNTEERS

The contribution of each volunteer in the response to emergencies is worth an estimated $950 a year, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock revealed today as he released the results of a national survey.

Mr Ruddock said the report by Anglicare on behalf of the Australian Emergency Management Volunteer Forum showed these local heroes were an integral part of any response to a crisis or disaster.

“This survey formally recognises the estimated direct financial cost and in-kind contributions of volunteers who give their time so willingly,” said Mr Ruddock.

“These people are the backbone of our emergency management structures and they do so at a significant cost.”

The report estimates the average of direct and in-kind contributions made by each volunteer at $950 a year.

“There are more than 500,000 emergency management volunteers,” said Mr Ruddock.

“We see them in action in floods, severe storms, bushfires and other natural disasters, providing assistance at accidents and other life threatening situations - such as surf life saving - and giving personal support to victims and their families.”

The Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, who is the Minister responsible for national emergency management, said the dedication of volunteers had been on show during the current bushfire season.

The survey covered fully employed, self-employed and retired volunteers in the primary emergency services as well as in the Salvation Army, Surf Life Saving Australia, St Vincent de Paul, St John Ambulance, Volunteer Rescue Association, Australian Volunteer Coastguard, Australian Council of State Emergency Services, Anglicare, Adventist Development and Relief Agency Australia.

A copy of the report is available at www.aemvf.org.au

Media Contact: Michael Pelly (Mr Ruddock’s Office) 0419 278 715

Alastair Wilson (EMA Media Liaison) 0408 606 462