Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur has praised volunteers this week during National Volunteer Week.

She said “volunteers are the backbone of regional and rural communities.”

In the February commemoration of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, Bev McArthur spoke in parliament of the many volunteer agencies involved in saving and re-building lives and communities. 

These included the CFA; SES; Red Cross; St Vincent de Paul; Country Women’s Association; churches; hay, fodder and fencing providers; and many others, including op shop volunteers. They all come who together in times of emergency and do so much for their fellow citizens. 

Bev McArthur also used an adjournment debate in February to argue for better treatment of the state’s bail justices who “perform a vital role in our law and order system,” but receive no reimbursement for their travel costs for performing this “essential community service.”

She said that volunteers who lose their lives to save others are of national significance.

“How incredibly tragic that father and son, Ross and Andrew Powell, Port Campbell surf life savers, were recently lost while endeavouring to save a tourist. They have left behind families in mourning who will never recover, along with an entire local community and the national Surf Life Saving organisation.” 

Recently, Mrs McArthur was honoured to launch the Polwarth CWA Group Creative Arts and Home Crafts Exhibition in Colac. She praised the extraordinary contribution of this Women’s organisation, who, for decades have been at the forefront of service to others in times of emergency and great need.  

“Volunteerism is integral to the fabric of rural and regional communities. Life in the country often depends on the personal commitment of volunteers for the preservation of safety, security and well-being of their fellow individuals.”

“I pay tribute to all our volunteers and applaud their invaluable service to their communities and those individuals in particular need.”

24 May 2019