ACT Signs Up to New Charity Regulator
12 March 2013 at 9:26 am
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has joined with South Australia to align its regulatory framework for incorporated associations and fundraising with the new charity regulator, the ACNC.
The ACT Government has agreed to remove charities registered by the new charity regulator, the ACNC, from regulatory requirements under relevant ACT legislation, such as the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 (ACT).
The Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury made the announcement at the opening of the CPA's two day Not for Profit Conference in Sydney.
The changes will mean that charities incorporated as associations in the ACT will only need to report to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and not the ACT Office of Regulatory Services.
Amendments will also be made to the Charitable Collections Act 2003 (ACT).
The Federal Minister for Social Inclusion, Mark Butler, said that the decision by the ACT Government is a further step towards delivering reforms to cut red tape for the NFP sector.
"It's good to see the ACT moving quickly to deliver on the promise of these reforms and I look forward to working with other jurisdictions to deliver similar outcomes for the NFP sector nationally," Butler said.
In October 2012, South Australia also moved to align its regulatory framework for incorporated associations and fundraising with the ACNC.
The Federal Government says the decisions by the ACT and South Australian Governments demonstrate that there is growing momentum for delivering the smarter streamlined national regulatory framework which the NFP sector has long been asking for.
"The ACNC was only established in December last year, and already we have two jurisdictions signed up to the new regulatory framework," David Bradbury said.
The ACT Deputy Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, said that this initiative is being undertaken as part of the ACT Government's Community Sector Reform Program, and is another step forward in the ACT Government reducing red tape for the sector.
"This will result in real red tape reduction for community sector organisations that are registered with the ACNC, enabling organisations to shift resources to frontline service delivery."
Peak Not for Profit organisation, the Community Council of Australia says more charities are now questioning why other states are not offering the same level of support to charities when the case for change is so clear.
“After decades of discussion, it is very pleasing to see ACT and SA joining the Federal Government in supporting real reforms for the charitable sector. We want charities to be able to get on with what they do best, not get bogged down in unnecessary red tape. The ACT commitment to freeing up charities is welcomed,” the Chair of CCA and CEO of World Vision, Tim Costello said.
CCA CEO, David Crosbie said charities would like to see all governments adopting the same approach.
“Most governments talk about wanting to support the charitable sector, but these statements are often just decorative policy words rather than a commitment to real action. The Federal, ACT and SA governments have backed up their rhetoric with action that will actually make a real difference to the sector. Other governments need to get on board."
The newly established Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) plans to introduce a ‘charities passport’ that establishes the bona fides of a charity. Currently, if charities want to run a national fundraiser or seek a payroll exemption, they have to register separately with each State.