Opposition Declares No Vote for ACNC
Wednesday, 12th September 2012 at 1:59 pm
The Federal Opposition has formally announced that it will oppose the Legislation to establish Australia’s first charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission.
The Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services, Kevin Andrews says the Federal Government is trying to impose upon the Not for Profit sector and charitable organisations a new unnecessary and uncalled for level of regulation and red tape.
“Under the guise of simplifying the processes and the reporting requirements for the Not for Profits and charities in Australia, they’re actually adding a new level of regulation and red tape,” he said.
“This will significantly add to the burden on the Not for Profit sector in Australia, and there’s been no mischief made out that requires this new burden.
“Indeed, if you look at the many submissions that have been made to the inquiries that have looked at this, there are dozens of Not for Profits and civil society organisations complaining and criticising this proposal,” he said.
“Australian Baptist Ministries, for example, have said this is going to add somewhere in the order of a million dollars of extra administrative burden for them. That’s a million dollars that one service organisation itself could have been actually devoting to the people it’s helping in the community.
“David Gonski, who’s a favourite in some quarters of the government at the moment, has warned that Australia risks placing a more onerous burden on the directors and office bearers of Not for Profit organisations than Australia does on the directors and office bearers of for-profit organisations.
“The states will continue to apply all the regulations that they had, and even other Commonwealth departments will continue to apply all regulations.
“For example, for non-government schools, there’s currently a series of regulations at the Commonwealth and the State level, and yet we’re going to have further reporting requirements by the new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission,” he concluded.
However, the Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury has described the Coalition’s stance on the Legislation as ‘reckless negativity’ that is threatening to impact on hard-working Australian charities and Not for Profits.
“The Coalition wants to stand in the way of an important reform that has broad support across the Not for Profit sector. The establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is a reform that the sector has long been calling for and the Government has been proud to work closely with them on this legislation,” Bradbury said.
“For the Coalition to ignore the wishes of the sector and proclaim that they know best is the height of arrogance.
“It is also reprehensible for Kevin Andrews to misrepresent the views of the sector and to try and use Australian charities for his own political purposes.”
He said there had in fact been strong support for the ACNC from across the sector include peak bodies such as ACCOS, the Community Council of Australia, National Roundtable of Nonprofit Organisations, Philanthropy Australia and many major NFPs.
The passage of the ACNC legislation is now expected to rest with the Australian Greens in the Senate with some amendments the the original Bills.