Tuesday, 15th October 2013 at 9:42 am
The Federal Coalition Government says it will begin consultations to discuss its transition plans for the Not for Profit sector in the next few weeks.
Newly appointed Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews says the discussions will include the future of the charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) and his plans for a Centre for Excellence as well as a national register of charities.
Minister Andrews spoke to Pro Bono Australia News at the launch of the Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts of All Time in Melbourne – one of the first major Not for Profit events he has attended since the Federal Election.
Before the Federal Election Kevin Andrews said a Coalition Government would disband the ACNC and replace it with a centre for Excellence. As well the Coalition plans to reintroduce the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership which was first established under the Howard Government.
I don’t have a time frame yet for implementing our changes but hopefully before the end of next year,” he said.
The Minister said the problems around making changes to legislation would be the key to implementing any changes.
It is understood that any changes to the five pieces of legislation that established the ACNC would be opposed by the Greens and a number of Independents in the Upper House next year.
At the launch of the Top 50 Gifts, the Head of Philanthropic Services for the Myer Family Company, Peter Winneke told the audience that Australia needs new levels of capital to elevate philanthropy at all levels.
“We have only just started to build our culture of giving in Australia. We need a Centre for Excellence and a national giving campaign promoted by Government.”
Winneke told Pro Bono Australia that he believed these would be in addition to keeping the ACNC.
“I think a Centre for Excellence could rest within Philanthropy Australia. There’s a need to change the current ‘scattergun’ approach to giving in Australia. The Centre would showcase best practice to improve giving and increase collaboration between philanthropy, the community and government.
“Australia also needs a national giving campaign to help measure and benchmark giving as well as to educate financial advisers about the giving options available.
“Most Australians do not measure their own charitable giving and could not say what percentage of their income they give.
"If Australians could give just one percent of their earnings to charity it would treble the amount available to the sector to continue to do the great works that it does.”
He said another area that needs to get a big push is workplace giving.
The ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, also attended the Top 50 launch and said charities were continuing to provide their Annual Information Statement with almost 4000 submissions so far.
She told Pro Bono Australia is was “business as usual” for the organisation.
Representatives of the Myer Family Company, The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, Pro Bono Australia, Swinburne University and Philanthropy Australia joined together to showcase Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts following an exhaustive public nomination process.
Check out the website and join the public voting for the Top Ten Gifts of all Time at https://probonoaustralia.com.au/top50