Murray responds to volunteer criticism
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 recently 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 region- al 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 Volunteering Community Reference Group.
“The Volunteering Community Reference Group is an entirely unpaid group made up of leaders in the volunteering space who pro- vide advice to Government about issues in this particular sector,” he said. “The group, 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 WA to alleviate the administrative burden on emergency services volunteers.
He said the department was working on new initiatives such as flexible volunteering arrangements, support for families and promoting non-front line roles such as administration, logistics and communications.
Volunteering Minister Mick Murray has come under fire over falling volunteer numbers in emergency services.