Today I issued a media release off the back of surprising evidence given at this week's Senate Estimates, showing once again the contempt the Social Services Minister has for the charities and the not for profit sector.
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION
MEMBER FOR FRASER
Has Anyone Seen Kevin Andrews?
Minister Kevin Andrews has not met with the head of the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission for eight months, Senate Estimates has revealed.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe, confirmed before Senate Estimates, “We are not in regular contact with the Minister.” The last time Minister Andrews met with the ACNC was in November 2013.
Minister Andrews has legislative responsibility for the ACNC – a national agency aimed at making charities and not for profits stronger, accountable and more visible.
Under Labor, the Minister responsible for the ACNC (then the Assistant Treasurer) met with the head of the ACNC on a regular basis.
Commissioner Pascoe also revealed yesterday that Department of Social Services and ATO staff met her for the first time only this week, the day before the Senate Estimates hearing. It was for initial discussions about transitional arrangements in anticipation of the ACNC being axed.
The Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014 provides no detail of what will come after it. The consultation process is a shemozzle.
An overwhelming number of submissions into the Senate Inquiry into the Bill appeal to the Government to keep the ACNC. According to a survey, four out of five charities support the work it is doing.
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.
Dedicated ACNC staff continue to provide governance support to registered charities.
Next week the ACNC will launch the “Charity Passport”, reducing red tape for charities so they can ‘report once and use often’ when fundraising and applying for funding.
FRIDAY, 6 JUNE 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: TONI HASSAN 0426 207 726