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Australian Premier proposes tax breaks for volunteers
07 February 2007

Perth, Australia: Australian Premier Alan Carpenter will use Friday's Council of the Australian Federation conference to seek tax breaks for emergency service volunteers.
The Premier said there was no doubt that the work of emergency service volunteers was highly regarded and admired by governments at all levels and the wider Australian community.

“The current bushfire emergency in the south west of the State is an example of the enormous work that many volunteers undertake under difficult circumstances,” Mr Carpenter said.

“They provide an invaluable service to the community.

“I am therefore keen to push for a uniform tax rebate for emergency volunteers across Australia.

“I will raise the issue with my State and Territory counterparts on Friday as a way of putting pressure on the Commonwealth to introduce such a scheme.”

A tax rebate for emergency service volunteers has previously been supported at a State and Territory Ministerial level after submissions from the WA State Government.

The initiative was also a key proposal in a national volunteer taskforce, which reported last year.

The ‘Volunteering in Australia: How we can help’ report found that a tax rebate was an appropriate way of helping reimburse and recognise volunteers who took part in emergency work.

Mr Carpenter also wrote to the Prime Minister in August last year indicating his full support for ‘Volunteering in Australia’ proposal.

“The Commonwealth has had plenty of time to consider the proposal. It should now act to implement a tax relief scheme for these workers,” Mr Carpenter said.