ACOSS, Anglicare Welcome National Compact Signing
Wednesday, 17th March 2010 at 2:33 pm
The Australian Council Of Social Services, ACOSS has welcomed the signing of the new National Compact in Canberra describing it as an important foundation for stronger links between the Not for Profit sector and government.
Attending the official signing ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra were ACOSS President Simon Schrapel, ACOSS board member Maryanne Diamond and ACOSS CEO Clare Martin.
Both Schrapel and Diamond have been appointed to the National Compact Sector Advisory Group which will drive plans to implement the shared priorities of the Compact.
Schrapel says this relationship is critical to building a more socially inclusive and tolerant Australian society and the Compact provides a way to work through a host of issues which have traditionally become barriers to a productive and respectful relationship.
ACOSS says the Compact and Advisory Group could act as an important key mechanism to pursue the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s report into the Not for Profit sector.
CEO Clare martin says the key reforms that would increase the effectiveness of the sector include establishing an independent Registrar for Community and Charitable Purpose organisations and addressing funding of the community sector, including payment of market wages.
Martin says that with over half of ACOSS members reporting that red tape hinders their ability to deliver services, streamlining contracting and reporting mechanisms should also be a priority.
ACOSS says it looks forward to continuing to work with government and through the National Compact Sector Advisory Group to build closer ties.
ANGLICARE Sydney CEO Peter Kell says the Compact signals a positive shift in the relationship between the government and the thousands of community sector organisations that deliver key services to individuals and communities throughout Australia.
He says his organisation is particularly supportive of the Compact’s priority to protect the right of community service organisations to undertake advocacy irrespective of any funding relationship that might exist.
Kell says this represents a significant development in how the Third Sector is understood and valued within Australian society and reflects a growing maturity in the relationships between government and non-government organisations.
He says the commitment to reduce red tape and to streamline the reporting processes associated with delivering government-funded programs is also a very welcome development.
However, Kell says that the challenge now is to make the Compact a tangible reality in practice.