Greens Support ACNC at National Forum
Friday, 23rd August 2013 at 5:13 pm
The Australian Greens could hold the key to the survival of the new charity regulator, the ACNC, if the Coalition wins the Federal Election and the Greens win control of the Senate.
Greens Senator, Rachel Siewert expressed confidence and support for the new Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission at the first Not for Profit pre-election forum at the National Press Club in Canberra, hosted by the Community Council for Australia.
Senator Siewert told the forum that she has confidence that the ACNC will ‘get on and do the job properly’.
Her comments follow on from the Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services, Kevin Andrews who reiterated to the Not for Profit sector leaders at the forum that the Coalition would abolish the ACNC if elected to office and replace it with a Centre for Excellence.
The Greens commitment to the ACNC will make it more difficult for a Coalition Government to dismantle the charity regulator through legislation if it has control of the Senate after the Federal Election.
The Greens Senator pointed to the results of the Pro Bono Australia Not for Profit Election Survey which found a significant majority of those in the sector are in favour of the ACNC.
Senator Siewert said the Not for Profit sector did not want regulatory control handed back to the Australian Tax Office as proposed by the Coalition.
Kevin Andrews would not comment directly about the Not for Profit election survey but told the forum that the Coalition was the only party providing the detail on how it would reduce red tape and encourage a culture of giving in Australia.
“Within six months of gaining office, the Coalition will re-establish the Community Business Partnership to advise the government on the culture of giving in this country.
“This will be chaired by the Prime Minister,” Andrews said.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Homelessness, Senator Doug Cameron said, the Opposition could not ignore the voice of the sector which revealed in the Pro Bono Australia survey that a significant majority wanted the ACNC to continue.
Senator Cameron told the forum the Opposition was planning to re-badge the failed ‘big society’ scheme used in the UK.
“The Coalition is washing its hands of responsibility of the country’s most disadvantaged by importing this into Australia,” he said.
The CEO of the Community Council for Australia, David Crosbie said he welcomed the willingness of the Coalition to work with the sector if it wins office at the next election.
However, he said he disagreed with the need to dismantle the ACNC and replace it with a Centre for Excellence.
More than 150 leaders from the Not for Profit sector attended the forum at the National Press Club including the CEO of ACOSS Dr Cassandra Goldie and the CEO of Philanthropy Australia Louise Walsh, along with representatives of some of the countries biggest Not for Profits including the Benevolent Society, Wesley Mission and the Salvation Army.
Read the preview story for the forum here