Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent said he was delighted to announce a new round of federally funded “Volunteer Grants” to support local not-for-profit organisations.

“Community organisations can now apply for a share of $10 million in Australian Government grants to support their volunteers,” Mr Broadbent said.

“Around six million Australians volunteer each year and they play a critical role in building stronger, more cohesive communities.

“Volunteers help people to fully participate in community life and are the backbone of many aspects of Australian life, from surf lifesaving to Meals on Wheels, to helping new migrants learn English.”

Mr Broadbent said the funding would “make the work of volunteers easier, safer and more enjoyable”

“The grants, of between $1000 and $5000, will enable community organisations to buy much-needed equipment such as computers, train volunteers or improve fundraising efforts,” he said.

“Grants can also be used to help with the cost of first aid training, background security checks or transporting volunteers with disability who cannot drive.”

Funding priority will be given to organisations working in disadvantaged communities or those affected by natural disasters. Organisations in regional Australia and Indigenous organisations are encouraged to apply.

The Volunteer Grants is part of the Commonwealth Government’s $28 million funding over 2016-17 for the Strengthening Communities programme that supports the capacity of communities to address local issues.

Applications for Volunteer Grants close 20 December 2016. For further information go to dss.gov.au/grants.

Alternatively, contact the Volunteer Grants 2016 Hotline on freecall 1800 020 283 or email grants@dss.gov.au.