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8 May 2024

Southern Volunteering Service faces imminent closure without Federal funding | Media Release

A volunteering service that has served Adelaide’s southern suburbs and the Fleurieu Peninsula since 1984 is facing imminent closure unless the Federal Labor Government reinstates its funding in next week’s Budget.

Southern Volunteering SA (SVSA) is an iconic not-for-profit volunteer service that has provided volunteer support, training and services to Adelaide’s south and the Fleurieu Peninsula for more than four decades.

Between 1992 and 2022 SVSA relied on an annual $150,000 federal government contribution to operate its services. This funding model ceased in 2022 because of a change in Volunteer Management Activity guidelines. Subsequent requests to reinstate this funding have been denied.

Liberal Senator Andrew McLachlan CSC said the service is on the cusp of closure if this funding is not urgently reinstated.

“If the Labor government does not restore this funding in the upcoming Federal Budget, SVSA will exhaust its funds in 2024/25 and be forced to discontinue its services,” Senator McLachlan said.

“I have met SVSA representatives who are preparing to vacate their offices in Christies Beach. SVSA has already been forced to close its Victor Harbor office to the detriment of many residents of the Fleurieu Peninsula who rely on their services.

“As a long-time volunteer, I know firsthand the difference organisations like SVSA make in improving the lives of South Australians. We cannot allow a service that supports some of the most marginalised people in our communities to be abandoned by the Federal Labor government.”

SVSA and more than 30 other Volunteer Resource Centres (VRC) around Australia have been affected by the reduction in federal funding. These VRCs have requested that the Federal Government reinstate their funding as part of a joint budget submission submitted by the National Network of VRCs.

“If SVSA is forced to close, hundreds of southern suburbs and Fleurieu residents will suffer as a result,” Senator McLachlan said.

“I have written to the Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth MP and urged her to provide the SVSA with $150,000 per-annum (indexed) over five years to keep this invaluable service operating.”

ENDS

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