Coalition Plans to Promote Philanthropy
19 June 2012 at 9:27 am
The Federal Coalition says it plans to increase philanthropic contributions in Australia by re-establishing the Community Business Partnership (CBP) if elected into Government at the next Federal Election.
Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services Kevin Andrews said in Government the Coalition it would encourage a culture of philanthropy and giving in Australian life through the Community Business Partnership as well as by removing “unnecessary red tape”.
Andrews made the announcement during a policy address in Melbourne where he outlined the opposition’s plan for a national charity commission.
The Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership was established in 1999 by John Howard and disbanded in 2007 following the election of the Labor Rudd Government.
“Early in the first term of the Howard government, the Prime Minister established the Community Business Partnership to advise government on encouraging a culture of philanthropy and giving. The partnership encouraged prominent Australians from the business and community sectors to work together for the benefit of the community,” Andrews said.
“The CBP would be chaired by Tony Abbott and would bring together leading Australian philanthropists and experts from the sector.”
Philanthropy Australia chief executive Deborah Seifert said that she was “very much in favour” of the CBP.
“We see this as a way of putting philanthropy high on the Government agenda,” she said.
“Currently there is support for philanthropy but there is no doubt that the Community Business Partnership chaired by the Prime Minister would put philanthropy higher on the political agenda.”
Andrews said that if elected he intended to work closely with Philanthropy Australia to further its philanthropic objectives.
Chief Executive Officer of the Fundraising Institute Australia, Rob Edwards says he applauds the Federal Coalition’s announcement to re-establish the Community Business Partnership.
“Any program that brings Government, business and community leaders together to find ways to increase philanthropy and further strengthen benefits to our communities is a good thing.
“This is especially true at a time when the economy is slowing and donations may be under threat,” he said.
Earlier, the Coalition had announced its plan for a charities commission if voted into government at the next Federal Election.
In a major policy address hosted by CPA Australia, Andrews said there is a place for a national charities body, however under a Coalition government any agency would exist as a small commission and operate as an educative and training body.
“We would work with the sector to ensure that it represents the sector,” Andrews said.
“We will also ask the new body to coordinate with the sector, the Commonwealth, the States and Territories to propose a new, common financial and other reporting standard that will negate the practise of numerous reports being prepared each year for different funding and regulatory bodies.”
The Coalition says it has charged the Coalition Deregulation Taskforce with reducing the regulatory burden on charities and community groups. It says the Taskforce, headed by Senator Arthur Sinodinos, will reduce red tape across business and community groups by $1 billion each year.