Volunteers are central to key government priorities identified in the Budget, including the environment, aged care, disability, domestic and gender-based violence, and cost of living. While volunteering is mentioned throughout the Budget, it lacks a strategic, whole-of-government approach to resourcing and supporting volunteering in Australia. More strategic support for a thriving volunteering ecosystem is essential to progressing these priorities.

We welcome the continuation of the Volunteering and Community Connectedness funding stream and measures to address cost-of-living pressures for everyone in Australia. However, volunteers and volunteer involving organisations remain under immense pressure. Cost-of-living pressures increase operating costs and demand for services, and at the same time reduce people’s capacity to volunteer. Half of all registered charities in Australia engage no paid staff and are run entirely by volunteers. Increased resourcing for Australia’s not-for-profit sector is needed to support volunteers and address the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

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