ENCOURAGING WORDS ON THE CHARITIES COMMISSION MUST BE FOLLOWED BY ACTION
Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has today given the strongest signal yet that the Abbott Government has walked away from its plan to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
But the charities sector will not have certainty until Minister Morrison formally withdraws the abolition bill which is still before the House of Representatives.
This morning, Minister Morrison told the Philanthropy Meets Parliament summit that his Government had “consulted widely, and there is very strong support for the ACNC.”
He went on to admit that: “I don’t believe there would be support in the Senate for there to be any change.”
Minister Morrison is dead right about that.
In the most recent Pro Bono State of the Sector survey, 82 per cent of not-for-profits stated that the commission is important for a thriving charities sector. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, more than 40 charities – including Lifeline, the Myer Foundation, the RSPCA, the McGrath Foundation, Volunteering Australia, YWCA Australia and Wesley Mission Australia – called on the Government to keep the charities commission.
Furthermore, on 24 June the Senate passed a motion calling on the Government to withdraw the abolition bill and finally end over a year of will-they-won’t-they speculation about the Government’s plans.
Whilst ever the ACNC abolition bill remains on the Notice Paper, the charities sector has no certainty. If Scott Morrison means what he said today, he must now withdraw it.
The Government would have Labor’s full support if it formally dumps it commitment to abolishing the charities commission. This is one election commitment we are very happy to see them break.
WEDNESDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856