Tasmanian budget funds for emergency volunteering system

FUNDING: Volunteer Philip de Bomford, Volunteering Tasmania chief executive 
Alison Lai, Bass Liberal MHA Sarah Courtney, and volunteers Christopher Hine and David Gleeson.

FUNDING: Volunteer Philip de Bomford, Volunteering Tasmania chief executive Alison Lai, Bass Liberal MHA Sarah Courtney, and volunteers Christopher Hine and David Gleeson.

Tasmanians have always been keen help out in a time of crisis, and a new system is set to streamline this process. 

The upcoming state budget will boost Tasmania’s volunteering sector with $200,000 over four years to maintain and enhance the Emergency Volunteering and Community Response to Extreme Weather program. 

EVCREW allows any Tasmanian with a skill that could be helpful in an emergency situation to sign up to an online database. 

These skills could range from those with cooking facilities, to builders, doctors, anyone who owns earth-moving equipment, or even knowing how to use a chainsaw.

In an emergency situation, Volunteering Tasmania can then quickly search the database and match volunteers and their skills to the appropriate situation.  

Volunteering Tasmania chief executive Alison Lai said the program was aimed at every-day Tasmanians who had the skills needed to lend a helping hand. 

“The system is currently running and it was a result of the Dunalley bushfires and the overwhelming community response we had from people outside our trained emergency services,” Ms Lai said.

Claude Road Fire Brigade second officer Philip de Bomford has been a volunteer firefighter for more than eight years and said he still enjoyed the “feel-good role”.

“I did quite a lengthy career in the full-time army so it seemed a natural progression for me once I retired from the army to bring some of my skill sets over to another service,” he said. 

“It’s extremely rewarding – it gives you a great sense of worth within the community and it’s nice to be able to help people.” 

Parliamentary Secretary Sarah Courtney said the system would help to manage both pre-registered and spontaneous volunteers.

“We know in our state sadly we are sometimes at the brunt of extreme weather events and we’ve seen over the past several years that when emergencies happen, we’re always really happy to be able to put up our hands and help,” Ms Courtney said.

“Tasmanians will be able to pre-register and at the time of an extreme natural disaster, we’ll be able to put a call out to those within the community.” 

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