CHARITIES FACING ANOTHER COSTLY YEAR UNDER COALITION
After many years of ignoring pleas for help from Australia’s charities, the Coalition has finally agreed with Labor’s call for the Commonwealth to take the lead in delivering reform.
Scott Morrison now wants the National Federation Reform Council to take charge of harmonising charitable fundraising laws, but expects the job to take another year.
The Prime Minister and Treasurer have finally woken up to their responsibilities, but this will see charities and not-for-profits facing another year of outdated fundraising laws. And another year means another $15 million hit to a sector that’s already running lean.
Our laws are broken. Right now, a charity that wants to raise money on the internet must register in seven different jurisdictions.
There have been multiple recommendations calling on the Morrison Government to fix these outdated laws.
Treasury identified fundraising law as the major reporting burden on charities. The national COVID commission's not-for-profit working group called on the Coalition to fix fundraising. The Charities Crisis Cabinet called for it, as did the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
Despite these calls, Senator Zed Seselja - the Coalition’s sixth charities minister since 2013 – has previously described fundraising reform as “obviously is not something that the Commonwealth alone can fix, because we have to work with the states and territories.”
The shame of watching the charity sector tangled up in unnecessary red tape while trying to support Australians through natural disasters and a national health crisis has finally forced the Coalition to acknowledge it has a responsibility to lead on this issue.
The Morrison Government has the power to fix this problem, and Australia’s charities should not be forced to wait any longer.
As always, Scott Morrison is planning to deliver, but never delivering on his plan.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.