Minister for Business Services and Consumers Gail Gago today called on the Abbott Government to abandon its plans to axe the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
Ms Gago today joined Federal Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh and Uniting Communities Chief Executive Simon Schrapel to highlight the potential of the ACNC to cut red tape and support the work of local charities.
“Charities need a nationally consistent approach, which is why the ACNC is so important,” she said.
“The charities commission strengthens organisations that work with some of our most vulnerable citizens.
“It’s also a vital safeguard, ensuring charities and not for profits provide basic information to the public, comply with the law and don’t rip off donors.
“This is all at risk because the Abbott Government plans to axe the ACNC and scrap its beneficial work.”
Ms Gago said axing the ACNC would kill off any proactive moves by the South Australian Government to ease the regulatory burden on charities operating in South Australia.
“At present, charities report to both Consumer and Business Services in South Australia and the ACNC,” Ms Gago said.
“At a local level, we’ve been looking to harmonise our laws to reduce the reporting burden of charities and not for profits.
“This would mean charities can spend less time dealing with red tape and more time with those South Australians who want support.
“A single and national regulator is the best way to reduce red tape for the sector.”
Federal Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Dr Andrew Leigh, who has portfolio responsibility for the ACNC, again called on the Abbott government to reverse its decision to abolish the regulator.
“The South Australian Government’s cooperation with the ACNC demonstrates how the reporting burden can be reduced for South Australian charities – allowing them to spend more time building community and helping the vulnerable.”
“I hope it causes the Abbott Government to rethink its plan to scrap the ACNC. If the Coalition truly wants to make life easier for charities, they should encourage other states and territories to follow the lead of South Australia and the ACT, which are both committed to reducing reporting duplication.”
“We know that the ACNC is enormously popular, with four out of five charities supporting it,” said Dr Leigh
Uniting Communities Chief Executive, Simon Schrapel said charities had advocated for many years for the establishment of a single national regulator, and had broadly welcomed the establishment of the ACNC in late 2012.
“The ACNC offered the chance to simplify reporting as well as providing a central point of contact for charities needing information on legislative and taxation obligations,” he said.
“This lessens the regulatory burden on Charities such as Uniting Communities and allows us to spend more of our time and effort on what really matters – helping those in need in our community.
“Rather than putting an end to something most charities have wanted for some time we believe the Federal Government should work with charities to find ways to strengthen and improve the ACNC," Mr Schrapel said.
Joint media release with Gail Gago MLC South Australian Minister for Business Services and Consumers
Friday, 9 May 2014