Not for Profits Welcome ACNC Extension
1 March 2012 at 2:20 pm
Not for Profits, including welfare peak body ACOSS, the Australian Council of Social Service, have welcomed the announcement of the extension of time for the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
The Gillard Government announced on Friday that it will extend the start date of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to October 1, 2012.
ACOSS says it has long championed the creation of a national regulator for charities and NFP organisations, and has praised the Government’s willingness to engage and involve the sector at every stage of the process.
“We remain strongly committed to this critical reform as a key mechanism to reduce the overly onerous burden of regulatory responsibilities and unnecessary duplication of reporting by community services,” said ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“In particular, the capacity to report once for multiple use will significantly reduce the inefficiency of current systems and should improve service effectiveness.
“This reform is far too critical to be undermined by rushed implementation, or lack of time to ensure the sector is fully engaged with the new regulatory environment and its requirements.
“The extension of time is important to allow sector organisations to continue to work with the Government and the ACNC Implementation Taskforce.
“This will ensure that the national regulator is based on sound principles with an appropriate legislative basis and the support and engagement of the sector on which it is focused,” Dr Goldie said.
UnitingCare Australia says the Government’s decision to extend the ACNC start date should buy time to get the underpinning legislation right.
National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds says she hopes the extension will provide enough time to ensure the people drafting the legislation can fully consider the context and consequences of this historic change for the Not for Profit sector.
“We have pushed hard for this extension and we are pleased to see the Government has listened.
“We support a national regulator but it needs to be set up in a way that enables what we do, not in a way that adds additional layers of red tape.
“The legislation needs to acknowledge the unique nature of the Not for Profit sector and not expect us to be corporate Australia.
“The community sector needs a regulator that understands, respects and encourages the diversity which defines the not for profit sector.
David Crosbie, CEO of the Community Council for Australia, says his organisation is more than happy to continue to work with the government to make sure the establishing legislation for the ACNC serves the best interests of the sector and the broader community.
“Rushing this kind of legislation into the Parliament is not something we would support.’
“If we want the sector to continue to grow and develop, we need smarter legislation, smarter regulation and smarter support of our charities and community groups.
CCA has already made 41 recommendations to government about the proposed new regulator.
The Minister for Social Inclusion Mark Butler said that the three month extension would provide more time for the sector and Government to continue to work closely together to finalise the legislation.