Mr CREGAN (Kavel) (14:55): My question is to the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services. Can the minister inform the house how the Department for Correctional Services is recognising the contribution of their volunteers this year?
The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (14:55): Thank you very much—
Ms Hildyard: Not with doughnuts!
The SPEAKER: The member for Reynell is called to order for a second and final time. I thought that would come.
The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —and I thank the member for the question. I do note that, whilst those on the other side laugh about volunteers, we—
The SPEAKER: Order!
The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —value our volunteers on this side of the house.
The SPEAKER: Order!
The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: They are over there making jokes about volunteers, and I don't think it's appropriate, especially a day after International Volunteer Day. What I will note also—
Mr Boyer interjecting:
The SPEAKER: The member for Wright is warned for a second and final time.
The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —is that the member for Kavel himself is a very, very good volunteer in his local community. He was the sports trainer with the Mount Barker Roos. In the new job he has become so busy they have had to demote him to drinks runner now, I am told. He now is the drinks runner, but on every occasion he still gets out and supports his local footy club. He also supports Hungry No More in his local community feeding the people in Mount Barker and working with that meal service; it is a great service as well. He is also a Lions club member, and we know what Lions do in our local communities. I commend the member for Kavel, and all the members on this side for the great work they do volunteering in their local community.
During the week, as we know, we had International Volunteer Day. I am lucky that, across my portfolios, I have absolutely wonderful volunteers. I get to meet them and thank them for the great work they do on behalf of our state. They are truly valued. As we know, volunteers put out bushfires, they patrol our beaches, they deliver meals to the elderly, they run our sporting clubs, they work in schools, hospitals and libraries and, of course, they also work in our prisons.
As we approach the end of the year, it is an important time to recognise our volunteers as well, and I am sure that many members on both sides of this house will be getting out and meeting with volunteers in their community and also thanking them for the wonderful work they do in their local area. I am sure there are many others, as I have mentioned in this place, who deserve recognition for the volunteering they do.
Tomorrow the department of corrections will recognise their volunteers and present a number of significant service awards. During the 2017-18 financial year, the Department for Correctional Services' Volunteer Unit provided an astounding 14,500 hours of work. The Volunteer Unit provides valuable services, including driving offenders to medical appointments, rehabilitation programs and assisting in the transportation of prisoners' families for prison visits. Volunteers have been providing support and assistance—
The SPEAKER: Order!
The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —to prisoners, offenders and staff for over 40 years. The correctional services Volunteer Unit began in 1973, and there are now approximately 150 volunteers working across our prisons and in community corrections. The figure is up around 10 volunteers on last year's number, and it is fantastic to see such an important group of people expanding.
The Volunteer Unit is full of people from all walks of life—parents, retired doctors and teachers, criminology and psychology students, as well as volunteers who have had family go through the system and who see volunteering as a way to make a difference.
I would like to thank Kerry Wordley and the Volunteer Unit for their important work in coordinating the volunteers during the year. I mentioned earlier that tomorrow's ceremony will also involve the presentation of a number of service awards. Recognised tomorrow will be two volunteers with five years of service, six volunteers will be recognised for 10 years' service, and one volunteer has notched up a formidable 15 years as a volunteer within our correctional system.
I will not name them because I do not want to spoil the surprise, but I thank them so much in advance. I think everyone in this house would recognise that those people have given great service back to the corrections organisation.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank and congratulate all our volunteers, who do such a fantastic job in what can be a challenging and often demanding environment. I have met so many of them along the way and I look forward to meeting so many more. It really is so rewarding to get out in our communities and talk to, meet and shake the hands of the volunteers who give so much back to South Australia.