ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION
MEMBER FOR FRASER
KEVIN ANDREWS KNOWS WHAT HE’S AGAINST, BUT NOT WHAT HE’S FOR
The Social Services Minister - determined to reject the views of the charities sector and trash the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) - has no plan for the sector.
Minister Kevin Andrews’ Bill reads like a media alert more than a serious piece of legislation.
The ACNC Repeal Bill (Part 1) offers no transitional arrangements for a sector that employs a million people. There are no details of a successor agency.
This is a purely symbolic gesture, added to by the fact that debate on the Bill won’t take place this coming week as expected.
The Explanatory Memorandum states this Bill “will not take effect until the enactment of a later Bill, which will provide the details of the arrangements replacing the Commission".
Alarmingly, the Minister gives himself the power to determine the successor agency without parliamentary approval. If the Minister won’t trust the public with his plans, why should parliament entrust him with the power to do as he wishes?
The Bill does nothing but create greater uncertainty for a pivotal sector at the heart of our communities.
The Minister appears without vision or heart for the charities that work for Australia’s vulnerable. There are nearly 60,000 charities registered with the ACNC.
Four of out five charities surveyed want to keep the ACNC. These include Save the Children, St John Ambulance Australia, the Ted Noffs Foundation, RSPCA, The Sidney Myer Fund & the Myer Foundation, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Volunteering Australia, Lifeline, ACOSS, SANE Australia, Musica Viva Australia, Hillsong Church, Social Ventures Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation, the YMCA, the Wesley Mission and the Queensland Theatre Company.
The explanatory memorandum says the ACNC was established to be a single reporting point for charities and claims that this “has not eventuated”. But in just over a year, the agency has won strong support in the sector, and its red tape reduction directorate is working on reducing unnecessary reporting by charities.
The Government claims to be reducing red tape. But abolishing the ACNC will increase the red tape burden on charities.
SUNDAY, 23 MARCH 2014
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