Resources boom impacts on volunteering

As a gesture of goodwill to the local community, the LNG companies moving into Gladstone may wish to consider investing in training their workers in emergency services and rescue work, because the local State Emergency Services (SES) group is struggling to find volunteers, according to the Gladstone Observer this morning (SES warns of decline in volunteers):

WHEN a disaster strikes, you can only guarantee 20% of volunteers to show up.

That’s according to the Calliope SES group leader Brian Pitt who has watched it happen for 20 years.

“It’s only a rough figure,” he said. “It’s because of home, work and family commitments.”

This isn’t out of the ordinary for most SES groups or other volunteer organisations.

But when volunteer numbers dwindle, so does the number of people who show up when they are needed.

“It’s a real issue for Gladstone SES,” Mr Pitt said.

Currently the Calliope SES has 36 members.

For the size of the region it covers, the group should have about 50 volunteers.

“All out SES groups need significant numbers,” he said.

“I suspect all volunteer organisations are having significant issues.”

Mr Pitt said the decline in numbers was something that happened gradually over the past four or five years.

“We are suffering because of the resources boom,” he said. “The twelve-hour shifts that people do, by the time they do their hours, they don’t get time to volunteer.

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