Yesterday it looked as though we'd get to decide on the future of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission once and for all. Today, the government has backed away from putting it to a vote. This uncertainty is bad for the charity sector and has gone on long enough.
ALARMED ANDREWS RUNS AWAY FROM ACNC FIGHT
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has beaten a retreat from putting his plan to abolish the charities commission to a vote in the parliament, leaving not-for-profits in limbo again heading into Christmas.
Yesterday Minster Andrews finally allowed for debate on the bill to abolish the charities commission, 253 days after it was first introduced to the House of Representatives.
The debate was scheduled to continue today, but the government has now pulled its bill again and will not bring it to a vote before Parliament rises for the year.
Could it be that Mr Andrews has been scared off by media reports that the Senate will block his efforts to abolish the charities commission?
Labor and a majority of crossbenchers have been clear that we will stand against this government’s attempts to scrap transparency and accountability in the not-for-profit sector.
With HMAS Abbott adrift on the high seas, it seems Mr Andrews is also rudderless.
Today is the second birthday of the charities commission, which has done a terrific job for community organisations. Four out of five charities continue to support it, while hardly any approve of the government’s vague notion of going back to the tax office as charities regulator.
The not-for-profit sector has already dealt with over 12 months of uncertainty. We still have little idea what the Minister thinks should replace the charities commission.
This flip-flopping has gone on long enough. Minister Andrews must either bring his bill on for a vote or walk away altogether from plans to scrap the charities commission.
THURSDAY, 4 DECEMBER 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856