The vital role of emergency and recovery volunteers has been recognised in the The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements Report. Volunteering Australia welcomes the report including the recommendation for national coordination forums. Volunteering Australia recommended the Australian Government invest in a nationally co-ordinated emergency management approach to volunteer engagement as part of its pre-budget submission.
Recommendation 21.3 National coordination forums
The Australian Government, through the mechanism of the proposed standing national recovery and resilience agency, should convene regular and ongoing national forums for charities, non-government organisations and volunteer groups, with a role in natural disaster recovery, with a view to continuous improvement of coordination of recovery support.
Volunteering Australia contributed evidence on the critical role of volunteers through a submission to the The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements. Volunteering Australia’s submission was quoted in the report in relation to the volunteering compensation scheme.
Volunteering Australia, a representative body for volunteers more broadly, suggested the need to clarify the government’s volunteer compensation position for future emergencies,242 explaining that any compensation scheme should be developed in consultation with volunteers.243 Commissioner Darren Klemm, Fire and Emergency Services Western Australia, told our inquiry that discussion around how volunteer compensation should be structured must engage volunteers and be considered nationally.244Page 180, Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements Report
Photo courtesy of CFA (Country Fire Authority)