SUPPORT CALLS AVAILABLE
We acknowledge the incredible efforts of your readers who are staying at home and helping to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we all do our bit to prevent the spread of the virus, it can be easy to lose the connections that can give us meaning and make us feel part of a community. We know the one thing many of us are missing right now is human contact. For those who are living alone or who are in isolation this becomes more acute.
Red Cross is now offering a free national telephone service to fill some of that void and help people maintain or improve their level of social connection. COVID Connect allows regular access to a friendly voice, a listening ear and tips to improve social connection.
If you or someone you know would like to start receiving these calls please register at connect.redcross.org.au/covid-connect/ or by ringing 1800 733 276.
Australian Red Cross SA director.
GM CROPS ASSIST FARMERS
If Bob Phelps ('Anti-GM group slams SA decision', Stock Journal, May 7) was a true environmentalist, he would be a supporter of genetically-modified crops.
Whether it is less time spent on a tractor tilling the soil, which helps to reduce carbon emissions, or more efficient use of crop protection products, the positive environmental impacts of GM crops are clear.
GM technology enables farmers to grow more crops using less land while conserving water and energy, allowing farmers to be more productive and sustainable.
Multiple independent reports have demonstrated there is no trade and marketing benefit to maintaining the GM moratorium in SA. The moratorium has restricted growth and innovation in the state's agricultural sector.
The Australian seed industry welcomes the agreement between the SA government and opposition on a way forward to enable commercial GM crop cultivation on mainland SA.
Australian Seed Federation general manager.
VOLUNTEERS DESERVE PRAISE
This week is National Volunteers Week.
It's a week to highlight the importance of volunteering and acknowledge and thank those that give their time to volunteer for the benefit of others.
The impact volunteers have on local communities, both socially and economically, can never be underestimated.
About 8.7 million Australians regularly volunteer their skills, services and time to improve the lives of those around them.
Not only is volunteering a great community service, it also has enormous financial value - a value estimated in Australia's case to be about $290 billion a year.
Volunteering is a key part of the bigger picture in our society, one that increases the strength, resilience and wellbeing of our community. It comes in all shapes and sizes - from a casual "Yes, I'll help" through to a regular gig with one of the many community organisations that work tirelessly to help those in need.
This summer, on the back of a prolonged drought, our nation battled bushfires the equivalent of any experienced in our lifetimes. While the extent of these natural disasters were catastrophic, one thing remained unwavering; the role of our volunteers who were there in the line of duty.
That is why volunteer week 2020 is so important. We have so much, this year, to thank our volunteers for.
While the COVID-19 crisis has left many organisations struggling for volunteers because of greater need and the fact that many volunteers have needed to self-isolate, others have stood up to fill the breach.
To all volunteers past and present, we thank you.
Member for Barker.
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