Labor Pledge on NFP Future Funding Arrangements
8 June 2016 at 12:02 pm
An elected federal Labor government would scrap the Coalition’s community grants program in a bid to reset the Commonwealth’s relationship with the Not for Profit sector, according to Labor’s latest election policy announcement.
In a joint statement by shadow ministers, Jenny Macklin, Andrew Leigh and Senator Claire Moore, they said that for the last three years the Liberals had treated the community and Not for Profit sector with contempt.
“Labor understands the critical role played by Australia’s community and Not for Profit sector in building the capacity of individuals and communities, strengthening community cohesion, addressing inequality and harnessing opportunity,” the statement said.
“We know that government alone cannot solve all our social problems. Only by working in partnership with community organisations – and communities themselves – can we bring about lasting change.”
Labor said the Coalition had removed $270 million worth of funding from frontline services, striped peak advocacy organisations of their funding and slashed money from community legal centres and family violence services.
“Then they completely botched their community grants process – pitching community organisations against one another and leaving many frontline services without funding certainty,” they said.
“As a result, some frontline services have had to cut staff or reduce their services. Some have closed entirely.”
Shadow minister for families Jenny Macklin said: “We will scrap the Liberal’s shambolic community grants program. This has been a disaster for community organisations and should not be allowed to continue.
“Whilst Labor will honour all existing contracts, over time we will move towards a fairer approach to funding community organisations, including longer term contracts.
“It’s time to change the way that government works with the community sector. A Shorten Labor government will draw a line in the sand and embark on a new agenda of partnership with community and Not for Profit organisations.”
Macklin said Labor had already established a Federal Labor Community Sector Partnership – a regular forum for debating policy ideas and direction.
“If elected, Labor will make the Community Sector Partnership a permanent interface between government and the community sector,” she said.
The Labor policy also promised to reinvigorate the now defunct National Compact, to continue to work through the charity regulator, the ACNC, to streamline reporting mechanisms and cut red tape for community and Not for Profit organisations.
“We will continue to support community organisations through the volunteer grants program. We know that community organisations often rely on these small grants to assist them to attract and keep volunteers. Labor will provide a further $10 million toward this important program,” Macklin said.
“Labor also understands that – particularly as the NDIS and Living Longer Living Better Aged Care Reforms roll out around the country – casualisation insecure work are of great concerns to many employees.
“Labor will work with the community and Not for Profit sector to protect the wages and conditions of employees as these reforms roll out around the country.”