ACOSS welcomes landmark step towards nationally consistent regulation for charities

1 November 2012

The Australian Council of Social Service has today welcomed the passage of legislation to establish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

“This reform will provide a national framework for proportionate, consistent regulation and will continue important progress towards reducing the current burden of duplicated reporting faced by many sector organisations,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

“Charitable community services are among the most economically significant parts of the broader not-for-profit sector, which contributes 5% of Australia’s GDP and 8% of employment nationally.

“The establishment of a national regulator for charities is something ACOSS has long called for, to address the current situation in which charities are overly but ineffectively regulated.

“Throughout this process, ACOSS has worked closely with the sector, Government and Parliament to ensure that the legislation contains the right balance between valuing and preserving the sector’s independence, while ensuring an appropriate regulatory framework for an industry that makes a major economic as well as social contribution.

“We acknowledge the Government’s commitment to establish the national regulator, and congratulate Ministers Butler and Bradbury, the Greens and the ACNC Implementation Taskforce in their work towards this reform,” Dr Goldie said.

The benefits of the establishment of the ACNC for charitable community services are anticipated to include:

  • Reducing the burden of duplicated and overly onerous reporting for organisations funded by Commonwealth agencies
  • Reducing the burden of duplicated and overly onerous reporting for organisations in South Australia, as the first state to have signed up to the national framework
  • Establishing a nationally consistent regulatory framework for reporting on financial and other regulatory information
  • Providing a focus for developing a shared framework for principles of governance across the sector
  • Contributing important and unparalleled information about the size, scope and activities of charities in Australia.

“The great efforts of many in the sector, in Government and in Parliament will be worthwhile if we can achieve the outcome of establishing a national regulatory framework and improving the burden of unnecessary red tape that diverts charitable community services from their vital work,” said Dr Goldie.

“The next areas that are critical for the success of this reform are the establishment of principles-based governance standards that are supported by the sector; and national harmonisation, through continuing work with other states and territories, so that the benefits of the ACNC are shared with all charities in the country.”

ACOSS Media Contact:  0419 626 155