Labor Demands Charities Stop Being Kept in The Dark
29 June 2018 at 5:03 pm
The shadow minister for charities and not-for-profits has lashed out at Michael Sukkar for keeping charities “in the dark” and called for the report for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission review to be released as soon as possible.
Speaking at a doorstep on Thursday, Andrew Leigh criticised the government for sitting on the report since May and said it formed part of the government’s “war on charities”.
“The government has waged a war on charities, trying to shut down the charities commission, appointing a charities critic as head of the charities commission and attacking the ability of charities to work with international partners on public advocacy,” Leigh said.
“Michael Sukkar should not be leaving Australian charities in the dark over winter.
“He should release that report into the charities commission so Australia’s charities know exactly what the government has in store for them.”
Leigh told Pro Bono News he did not know why it was taking so long for the report to be released.
“I have no idea. My five year old can read faster than this,” he said.
“It’s time the minister came clean with the sector.
“The minister is taking advantage of the fact that the clock only ticks on sitting days. So we’re only eight sittings down of the 15 that he is allowed but that means it could be a couple of months before the report comes down.”
He said the government still did not appreciate the value the ACNC held for the sector.
“I think if they truly appreciated the value that the ACNC held for the sector they wouldn’t have appointed Gary Jones to run it and you know that they’re not proud of appointing Gary Jones or they wouldn’t have appointed him moments after the historic same sex marriage vote came down,” Leigh said.
“If Susan Pascoe was still in charge of the charities commission people would be much less worried about the charities commission review.”
Community Council for Australia CEO David Crosbie told Pro Bono News one of the biggest concerns for charities was that governments make policies “without fully understanding their impact on the invaluable work being undertaken across the charities sector”.
“Given the critical role of the ACNC, it is important all charities have a chance to see a draft ACNC Review report and provide feedback prior to any recommendations being finalised,” Crosbie said.
“At the very least, charities need to have a chance to outline the potential impact of any ACNC Review recommendations prior to the government making any changes.
“Anything less would indicate the government does not value the sector or its views.”
Pro Bono News contacted Michael Sukkar’s office for comment.