LABOR TO LEAD THE WAY ON CHARITIES
The Liberals have waged a six-year war against charities. A Shorten Labor Government will have Australia’s first ever Charities Minister, who will fix the damage, and work with this vital sector to build a more connected country.
We need real change – because more of the same isn’t good enough.
The Liberals first attempted to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, a body respected across the sector. When they were blocked in the parliament, they instead decided to undermine the commission by putting a long-time charities critic in charge.
It is a mark of how little the Liberals care about charities that in six years, the Liberals have had six ministers responsible for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Labor has had one shadow minister responsible for charities and non-profits throughout our time in opposition.
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has tried to block the voices of environmental, social justice, law reform and international affairs charities from being heard in the public debate. These anti-democratic acts have prompted two open letters to Liberal Prime Ministers from the charity and not-for-profit sector.
A Shorten Labor Government will welcome the voice of charities in the public debate. We will formally recognise the benefits of advocacy by charities and not-for-profits and amend the Charities Act and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act to clarify the public benefit of advocacy as a charitable purpose.
Labor will deliver a stronger and more productive not-for-profit sector through the establishment of a Not-for-profit Sector Expert Reference Panel, which would develop a plan to strengthen Australia’s charities and not-for-profits in cooperation with Treasury, business and key sector stakeholders.
Labor will also establish a ‘Building Community - Building Capacity’ Working Group to implement the Panel’s recommendations and to support and advocate for organisations that are forging better-connected communities. This builds on the seventeen ‘Reconnected’ forums that Labor has held across Australia in the past three years, meeting with more than 1,500 charity sector leaders to discuss strategies to build social capital.
Labor will also work respectfully with the sector to reduce their paperwork burden. We will fix fundraising by immediately starting work on harmonising Australia’s fundraising laws in consultation with states, territories, Treasury and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
This commitment reflects Labor’s National Platform and Senator Catryna Bilyk’s February 2019 Senate Committee report, ‘Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century’.
After a revolving door of ministers, cuts, chaos and confrontation, the Liberals have shown their disregard for our hardworking charity sector. Only Labor can end the war on charities.
This election is a choice between Labor’s plans to back the organisations that give a voice to the voiceless and make our communities stronger, or three more years of cuts and chaos under the Liberals.
End the chaos. Vote for change. Vote for Labor.
Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.