During National Volunteer Week (which runs from 18-24 May) it’s important that we recognise the important contribution Tasmania’s skilled and hardworking volunteers make in supporting the Tasmanian community.

More than 3000 volunteers contribute to programs and activities across the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) to deliver key priorities.

While much of the volunteering which would normally be undertaken in these areas is on-hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that we recognise the commitment and dedication of volunteers.

Volunteers work alongside DPIPWE employees to protect the biodiversity of Tasmania, welcome visitors, provide tours and education, support sustainable fisheries, and contribute to conservation efforts to protect Tasmania’s historical heritage, flora and fauna.

More than 2400 volunteers play an integral role in supporting the work of PWS across its network of 19 national parks and more than 800 reserves.

They donate their time looking after visitors and welcoming campers, working alongside PWS employees maintaining local reserves, improving the condition of walking tracks and undertaking general maintenance and weed control. The PWS is looking forward to many of these activities restarting once it is safe to do so.

Volunteer caretakers provide a significant service for visitors at a number of popular sites and play an integral role in looking after reserves, through practical maintenance and conservation work.

Volunteers also add value to a range of DPIPWE heritage, marine, flora and fauna conservation programs, including efforts to build enduring populations of the Tasmanian Devil and Orange Bellied Parrot in the wild.

Water and Marine Resources volunteers also participate in the Fishcare Tasmania program, providing education and information to support sustainable fishing practices across the Tasmanian community.

And, more than 120 volunteers support the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, working across visitor services, gardening groups and in the Tasmanian Seedbank.

The work of volunteers will be even more important as services re-open and programs resume, and we look forward to welcoming volunteers back as soon as it is safe to do so.

We thank all volunteers for the important contribution they make in supporting Tasmania’s natural and cultural heritage programs.

For more information about volunteering visit: https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/about-the-department/volunteering-at-dpipwe

Elise Archer, Minister for Heritage