NFP Regulator Needs State Government Support
11 May 2011 at 2:09 pm
Australia’s first free legal service for the NFP sector, PilchConnect has welcomed the announcement of the independent regulator, but says the states and territory governments need to join the governments reform agenda.
PilchConnect, which has been advocating for the establishment of an independent regulator since its launch in 2008, called on state and territory governments to get on board with the new national regulator to reduce duplication and inconsistency in compliance and reporting.
The 2011 Federal Budget includes significant reforms for the Not for Profit sector, including the establishment of a national, one-stop regulator, a tax crackdown on the commercial operation of NFPs, and the introduction of a statutory definition of charity.
The Budget provides $53.6 million over four years to establish a one-stop-shop regulator for the support and regulation of the NFP sector.
Senior Lawyer at PilchConnect, Juanita Pope says most NFP incorporated entities are in some way reporting to state and territory agencies, and to be a truly ‘one-stop regulator’, all Australian governments need to work together on a shared regulatory framework.
PilchConnect says the independence of the new regulator is an important win for the sector.
Pope says PilchConnect has strongly advocated for a properly resourced and independent regulator for the NFP sector – not simply a ‘division’ of the Australian Taxation Office.
She says NFPs deserve a regulator that understands the community sector, and can determine charitable tax status in a fair and unbiased way. This announcement confirms the Federal Government has listened to the sector on these issues.
PilchConnect also congratulates the Federal Government on its announcement that it will introduce a statutory definition of charity, a move that will see Australia move away from an archaic common law definition which no longer reflects community expectations.
Peak welfare body ACOSS welcomed the government’s announcement, with ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie saying the Budget commitment is an endorsement of the Government's support for a sustainable and innovative non-profit sector.
Dr Goldie says whilst the sector await the commitment from the Federal government to fund the Equal Pay case, this initiative is welcome.
For further information on PilchConnect, visit: www.pilchconnect.org.au.