Govt Accuses Opposition of Filibustering on ACNC
Tuesday, 18th September 2012 at 5:11 pm
The Federal Government has accused the Liberal and National coalition of ‘filibustering’ to delay the introduction of Australia’s first charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
The Legislation was finally passed in the House of Representative late on Tuesday night with a vote of 66 in favour and 64 against. The Bills will now go to the Senate where the Australian Greens are expected to argue for major amendments.
The Government accusations came after several hours of debate in the House of Representatives in which the Opposition listed 35 members to speak against the Legislation setting up the ACNC.
The Deputy Treasurer, David Bradbury says the Coalition is applying its reckless negativity to important reforms that support the Not for Profit sector by filibustering debate in Parliament.
?"After declaring that they would turn their back on the NFP sector and not support the establishment of the ACNC, the Coalition have now decided to force dozens of their MPs to speak on the bill in a last-ditch cynical attempt to delay its passage through Parliament," David Bradbury said.
?“The sector has called for the establishment of the ACNC and they want to see this bill passed.
“The Coalition should listen to the overwhelming majority of NFP stakeholders who support the establishment of the ACNC and get out of the way of this important reform."
The Opposition spokesperson on Families, Housing and Human Service, Kevin Andrews, has already flagged the Opposition’s intention to repeal the Legislation if the Liberals gain power at the next Federal Election.
During the debate both National and Liberal backbenchers condemned the Legislation saying the ACNC would place an unacceptable burden on the Not for Profit sector by increasing red tape.
The Liberal member for Grey in South Australia, Rowan Ramsey, told Parliament that the Not for Profit sector was groaning under the weight of compliance in Australia and the Legislation would do nothing to improve it.
The Bills establishing the ACNC were expected to be passed in time for the October 1st start date however with few sitting dates remaining this seems unlikely. There are only two more sitting days before a two week break.
David Bradbury says a number of minor amendments have been added to the Legislation by the Government in recent days following further discussion with the sector.
The Director of Communications with the ACNC Taskforce, Jan Sharrock says that the ACNC will be ready to start regardless of the date.
“We will be ready to open our doors. Whatever the day, whatever the time, all of us at the ACNC will be ready to take that first call, start registering charities and providing a service to the Not for Profit sector."
“We have recruited a great team, we are establishing robust processes and procedures and are ready to prove our value to the sector and the community," Sharrock said.