This morning I issued a media release urging the Prime Minister to listen to the wisdom in his own party room on the importance of the charities commission.
Malcolm turnbull backs charities commission
Harmonising laws for the not-for-profit sector, now being achieved by the single and national Commonwealth regulator, is an idea that has been enthusiastically backed by members of the Coalition, including Malcolm Turnbull.
The Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission, currently threatened with the axe under Tony Abbott, isn’t just something Labor has championed. It is a textbook reform streamlining reporting laws for the sector advocated by Liberals in recent years.
A report by the Coalition-dominated House of Representatives Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, commissioned by the Howard Government, recommended in 2006:
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, in consultation with the not-for-profit sector and the States and Territories:
* Investigate the establishment of a single national regulator for the not-for-profit sector;
* Investigate the development of a simple but adequate legal structure for not-for-profit organisations;
* Initiate work towards the national legislative harmonisation of simple but adequate reporting and disclosure requirements for not-for-profit organisations;
Malcolm Turnbull was a member of the Committee, which delivered its report unanimously.
The committee report was one of more than five major reports over recent years advocating a charities commission, notably a 2010 Productivity Commission report. As a result of their recommendations, federal Labor established the ACNC.
The ACNC has strong support. An overwhelming number of submissions into the recent Senate Economics Legislation Committee inquiry to the ACNC (Repeal) (1) Bill 2014 urge the Government to keep the ACNC.
Support for the ACNC as a national charity regulator is consistently at around 80 per cent, as evidenced from an analysis of the submissions to this inquiry and three independent surveys conducted by Grant Thornton, Pro Bono Australia and Our Community. More than 40 charities and not for profits, including the RSPCA, Lifeline, the Hillsong Church and Myer Foundation, have signed an open letter asking the Prime Minister to keep the commission.
Unfortunately, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews won’t acknowledge the wisdom in his own party room, let alone in the sector.
Malcolm Turnbull supports it – so why won’t Tony Abbott?
Monday 23 June, 2014