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WEAR ORANGE WEDNESDAY 2023

Today in Parliament Amanda passed a motion calling for proper support for our important SES volunteers. 

Amanda's motion is below: 

Dr AMANDA COHN (10:05): I move:

(1) That this House notes that:

(a) Wednesday 17 May was Wear Orange Wednesday, a day that recognises the vital and immense work of NSW State Emergency Service [SES] volunteers, who dedicate their time and expertise to help communities during emergencies, particularly floods and storms;

(b) there are approximately 10,000 NSW SES volunteers who operate the volunteer-based service;

(c) the demand for emergency service volunteers is increasing as the New South Wales population grows, and as more communities feel the impacts of increased intensity and frequency of severe weather events due to climate change;

(d) according to the NSW SES in a report entitled Reimagining Volunteering in the NSW SES published in January 2019:

(i) rates of traditional volunteering in New South Wales are declining and rates of people engaged in more diverse and episodic styles of volunteering are increasing;

(ii) rates of volunteering in rural and regional parts of Australia are declining while rates of volunteering in urban areas are increasing;

(iii) there is a clear and urgent need to increase the capability of the NSW SES volunteer workforce to prepare for and respond to increasing rates of severe weather events; and

(e) the concerns identified by the NSW SES in the 2019 report were reflected in the NSW Flood Inquiry report published in July 2022, which found the expectations and demands being placed on volunteers in formal emergency agencies were increasing due to longer and more intense disaster seasons.

(2) That this House commends the work of NSW SES volunteers for their commitment to serving the people of New South Wales on the front line of the climate crisis, and calls on all members of Parliament to recognise, appreciate and support NSW SES volunteers and the work they do by supporting measures to improve the safety, effectiveness, equity and sustainability of volunteering, as well as community resilience initiatives.

The motion passed unanimously!

Read the full Hansard transcript here.

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