Economics Committee report welcome, now on to 1 October

16 August 2012

ACOSS has today welcomed the report by the House of Representatives Economics Committee into the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bills 2012. ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said: ‘The Committee has listened carefully to what the sector has said and has made a series of important and sound recommendations to improve the Bill in the interests of more consistent and effective regulation for our sector, what this reform was always about’.

‘A number of the Committee’s recommendations are based on evidence from ACOSS and our members and we welcome this evidence of the weight the Committee has given to the sector’s concerns,’ said Dr Goldie. ‘This reform comes out of the recognition that our sector is overly regulated, but ineffectively regulated. The Committee’s recommendations support the explicit objective of reducing this overly burdensome ‘red tape’; while also re-enforcing the importance of a regulatory framework that is proportionate both to the size and scope of charities and not-for-profit organisations, and to the level of risk these organisations pose.’

ACOSS welcomes key recommendations including:

  • That the objects of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012 explicitly include the reduction of red tape;
  • That the Government consider incorporating existing or sector-developed governance standards into the Bill through regulation, in addition to a default set of governance standards; and
  • Redrafting the obligations, liabilities and offences to clarify intent and operation;
  • Inclusion of express standards of procedural fairness.

‘The Committee’s report strikes a sound balance between improving the objects and procedures contained in the Bill in the interests of fair and appropriate regulation, and ensuring that the legislation can be finalised in a timeframe that will enable the ACNC to open its doors on 1 October. Once these improvements are incorporated into the Bill, ACOSS encourages all parliamentarians to support this important reform by passing the legislation that will enable the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission by 1 October,’ Dr Goldie concluded. 

Media Contact: Fernando de Freitas – 0419 626 155

ACOSS submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee and the Corporations and Public Administration Joint Standing Committee reviews of the ACNC Bill and consequential amendments