Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: National Volunteer Week

Ministers statements: National Volunteer Week

Ingrid STITT (Western Metropolitan – Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep, Minister for Environment) (12:26): As this is National Volunteer Week, I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge all the wonderful volunteers across the environment portfolio contributing enormously to improving our environment, our local communities and our state’s economy. This includes environmental advocates, ‘friends of’ groups, Landcare groups, Parks Victoria volunteers, citizen scientists, recreation volunteers, environmental sustainability groups, and wildlife rescue and care groups.

My department has recently published the Volunteering Naturally 2022 report, the fourth annual snapshot of environmental volunteering across Victoria. The report demonstrates a bounce-back in volunteering efforts towards prepandemic levels, which is excellent, and sets out some fantastic case studies. This includes the Great Victorian Fish Count, the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity grants and, impressively, the story of Ken Rendell, who is still planting and weeding out in our community at 90 years of age.

I also want to acknowledge the 75 volunteer groups that have been selected since 2020 to receive a share of the $2 million Volunteering Innovation Fund, creating new ways to protect the state’s precious environment and biodiversity, and I cannot wait to see these conservation ideas come to life. Our dedicated volunteers do incredible work all across the state to help conserve our precious environment, ensuring that it can thrive for generations to come.