Debate Delay on ACNC Abolition
Thursday, 27th March 2014 at 10:06 am
Legislation to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission will now be debated in Parliament after the May Budget, as the Federal Coalition Government’s Repeal Day juggernaut continues.
Yesterday, debate on the first of many deregulation amendment bills began in the House of Representatives however the bill to repeal the ACNC is now expected to be debated at a later date. The next session of Parliament resumes in May for the Federal Budget.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews last week announced a two-step plan to abolish the ACNC, with the first of two pieces of legislation already introduced into Parliament.
However both the Federal Opposition and the Australian Greens said they would not be supporting the repeal of the ACNC.
Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield last week told Pro Bono Australia news that it was important both parties in the senate recognise the mandate of the Government received at the last election in support or repeal of this legislation.
“The intention of the ACNC is well but I don’t think that it has lived up to the expectations of reduction of red tape,” he said.
“I think it has to the contrary added to red tape and compliance burden on charities and Not for Profit Sector.
“The abolition of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission was a commitment that the Coalition took to the last election.
“We are looking at ways of reducing red tape and reducing compliance on the charitable and Not for Profit sector. We think that getting rid of the ACNC is an important step to lightening that regulation burden.
“So I urge the other parties in the senate to look at the best interest on Charities and Not for Profit sector and to support this important legislation.”
Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh said the ACNC Repeal Bill reads like a media alert more than a serious piece of legislation.
“The ACNC Repeal Bill (Part 1) offers no transitional arrangements for a sector that employs a million people. There are no details of a successor agency,” he said.
“This is a purely symbolic gesture, added to by the fact that debate on the Bill won’t take place… as expected.
“The Explanatory Memorandum states this Bill ‘will not take effect until the enactment of a later Bill, which will provide the details of the arrangements replacing the Commission.’
“Alarmingly, the Minister, gives himself the power to determine the successor agency without parliamentary approval. If the Minister won’t trust the public with his plans, why should parliament entrust him with the power to do as he wishes?”