Rudd Government Urged to Act on Productivity Commission Report
12 February 2010 at 12:06 pm
The Australian Council of Social Service Community, ACOSS, has called on the Federal Government to implement key reforms including the establishment of an independent regulator; and to address funding of the community sector, including payment of market wages.
Clare Martin, CEO of ACOSS says service organisations provide vital services such as employment assistance, crisis housing, emergency financial help, and disability support services as well as important policy development and advocacy.
Martin says ACOSS welcomes the commission’s recognition of this role and its recommendations to strengthen the sector through removal of onerous and unnecessary ‘red tape’.
She says more than half of ACOSS members report that red tape adversely affects their ability to deliver services.
Martin says the report paints a clear picture of the value of the sector and points to key areas for reform and it is important that any changes are informed by effective consultation with the sector.
She says ACOSS will be working closely with the government (and state and territory governments through the COSS network) in the next steps flowing from the report.
Over the past 14 years there have been five reviews of the sector which have been shelved by governments.
Specialist Financial writer for The Age Newspaper, Adele Ferguson writes in a comment piece today (Friday 12th February) that it is not hard to see why.
She writes that while most parts of the Not for Profit sector understand the need for change, many of the changes required are a political time bomb.
Ferguson says the latest recommendations are political suicide during an election year. Clubs, nurses, doctors and religious groups have a lot of political clout.
For this reason, Ferguson says the report is likely to be one more report to be tucked away for another year.
Read Adele Ferguson’s commentary at www.theage.com.au/business/free-weddings-and-a-tax-rort-20100211-nv8m.html