Don’t Let Community Be 'Jilted' Over ACNC Legislation
10 September 2012 at 3:11 pm
The National Roundtable of Nonprofit Organisations says the community sector must urge all members of Federal Parliament to pass the national charity regulator Legislation or face being ‘jilted at the altar’ yet again.
Roundtable Chair and CEO of Jobs Australia, David Thompson, says the sector must garner the support of all politicians including the Independents to make sure the Legislation gets over the line in coming weeks.
“We have been waiting way too long for regulatory reform of the Not for Profit sector and a whole forest has been felled to print the the thousands of submissions made to various inquiries over the years,” he said.
“The bottom line is that the introduction of the national charity regulator is for the common good and in the national interest.”
Pro Bono Australia contacted all Federal Independent members to seek their views on voting for or against the passage of the Australian Charity and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) Bill which is expected to be considered in coming weeks.
Rob Oakeshott, the NSW independent Member for Lyne, told Pro Bono Australia that he would “more than likely vote yes” to the Legislation.
“I will be voting for it and consider it quite historic,” he said.
“I say “more than likely” because I don’t normally flag where I am going to vote until I actually do. There may be some sort of detail that emerges, or needs correcting, that has not emerged yet. That is my only condition in my response.”
Andrew Wilkie, the Tasmanian Independent Member for Denison said: “I’m yet to meet with all stakeholders and decide whether or not to support the Bill.”
No other Independents have provided their voting intentions so far. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services is due to report on its findings on 10 September and the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs on 12 September.
In a Roundtable submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee reviewing the three pieces of Legislation setting up the Australian Charity and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), David Thompson said there had been numerous inquiries and reviews into Not for Profit regulation in Australia over the past 17 years with little outcome.
He said that in just four of the major inquiries there were:
- 12,920 pages of public submissions
- 56 days of hearings
- 45 site visits
- 1,344 pages of official reports
- 150 recommendations
“There are now more than 12 million words on 39,000 pages on the public record on the case for and the nature of necessary and desirable Not for Profit regulatory reform in Australia.
“Once again, we are at the altar of the reforms we want and need and we ask for the support of our national Parliament and of the States and Territories to deliver for us better and smarter regulation. We don’t want to be jilted yet again,” Thompson said in the Submission.
“I have the horrors that we’ll be jilted at the altar just like Miss Havisham in the Charles Dickens novel, Great Expectations,” he told Pro Bono Australia News.
“The ACNC Bills and the related Tax Laws Amendment Bill represent a significant, historic and positive step in the quest for regulatory reform. There will be much more to be done to achieve world’s best practice regulation in Australia and the establishment of the ACNC under the terms of the Bills represents a very good start.”
The National Roundtable of Nonprofit Organisations Ltd (“NRNO”) is an independent, non-partisan organisation with a diverse membership of peak bodies and national NFP organisations and was formed in 2002.