Government funding for Canberra’s army of environmental volunteers has dried up, it was revealed at Estimates today.
Despite Environmental Minister Vassarotti waxing lyrical about the value of environmental volunteers, funding for “volunteer activation” will cease after this financial year.
Budget Statement ‘E’ reveals $475,000 will be spent on environmental volunteers in 2020-21 but no money has been allocated for 2021-22, 2022-23 or 2023-24.
The Budget describes “Volunteer activation” as “getting more people, more activities in caring for nature.”
“The Labor-Greens government claims it encourages and supports environmental volunteers yet funding will run out next year,” Shadow Environmental Minister Leanne Castley said today.
“So much for Labor and the Greens valuing the knowledge and expertise of thousands of Canberrans who volunteer so many hours and work so hard as land managers and stewards of our environment.”
Minister Vassarotti told Estimates: “There is a strong commitment in the parliamentary agreement to environmental volunteers but … we’re not quite there yet. … It is about us working with our government colleagues to ensure stability to recognise the value delivered to the Territory.”