WA min­is­ter hits back at crit­i­cism

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Regional Focus -

Vol­un­teer­ing Min­is­ter Mick Mur­ray has hit out at the Op­po­si­tion af­ter com­ing un­der scru­tiny over his role in work­ing with emer­gency ser­vices vol­un­teers.

Mr Mur­ray was pressed in Par­lia­ment last week about whether the State Govern­ment’s Vol­un­teer­ing Com­mu­nity Ref­er­ence Group had been tasked with in­ves­ti­gat­ing vol­un­teer burnout and at­tri­tion rates in the emer­gency ser­vices.

In re­sponse, Mr Mur­ray said ques­tions of emer­gency ser­vices vol­un­teers should be di­rected to Emer­gency Ser­vices Min­is­ter Fran Lo­gan.

WA Na­tion­als vol­un­teer­ing spokesman Peter Run­dle said Mr Mur­ray was shirk­ing his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“Re­search has found that re­gional WA is haem­or­rhag­ing more than 10 emer­gency ser­vices vol­un­teers ev­ery day, with a par­tic­u­larly high at­tri­tion rate from the State Emer­gency Ser­vice,” he said.

“Given this alarm­ing rate of vol­un­teer turnover, it’s only right that the Min­is­ter for Vol­un­teer­ing out­lines how he plans to ad­dress the is­sue so that those re­gional emer­gency ser­vices or­gan­i­sa­tions which rely on their vol­un­teers have some se­cu­rity.”

Mr Mur­ray said it was ap­palling to see the Op­po­si­tion at­tempt to “be­lit­tle” the work of the VCRG.

“The Vol­un­teer­ing Com­mu­nity Ref­er­ence Group is an en­tirely un­paid group made up lead­ers in the vol­un­teer­ing space who pro­vide ad­vice to Govern­ment about is­sues in the sec­tor,” he said.

“The VCRG, who meet once a quar­ter, are cur­rently look­ing at is­sues raised by the sec­tor prior to the re­cent State Elec­tion, par­tic­u­larly the porta­bil­ity of the var­i­ous po­lice clear­ances and work­ing with chil­dren checks.”

Mr Lo­gan said the State Govern­ment was re­cruit­ing vol­un­teer man­age­ment sup­port of­fi­cers across re­gional Western Aus­tralia to al­le­vi­ate the ad­min­is­tra­tive bur­den on emer­gency ser­vices vol­un­teers.

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