Labor’s charity reform package shows they have listened
8 May 2019
Justice Connect welcomes today’s commitment from the Australian Labor Party to #FixFundraising and its broader policy reforms for Australia’s charity and broader not-for-profit sector.
For years we have been vocal in our campaign to #FixFundraising. We’ve called for the creation of a nationally consistent and fit-for-purpose regime. We welcome the commitment made today to remove the red tape faced by charities – rep tape that wastes time and money. Charities currently need to comply with seven different fundraising regulations, which costs more than $15m annually.
Justice Connect supports the establishment of a Not-for-profit Sector Expert Reference Panel and the related Working Group to build the partnership between the sector and government.
We also support the reinstatement of the Annual Charities Report, to help explain the important contribution charities make to the economy.
Justice Connect has been vocal in its support of charities and not-for-profits being able to advocate. We welcome the commitment to clarify the law to further protect the vital advocacy activities charities undertake.
Finally, we support the introduction of a charity passport. We hope that it will become a mandatory standard, to further assist charities by ensuring the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission works as a ‘one stop shop’ for reporting to government.
Justice Connect recognises the work of Andrew Leigh, Shadow Minister for Charities and Not-for-profits, in his engagement and consultation with the sector since his appointment to the shadow ministry in 2013.
Sue Woodward, Head of Not-for-profit Law at Justice Connect, had the following to say:
“This package of reforms are welcome. Labor has consulted extensively and listened to the sectors concerns on advocacy, fundraising laws and how the data it gives to government is used.”
“It’s great to see the recognition of the importance including the ACCC in reforming fundraising. We strongly believe the Australian Consumer Law has an important role to play in regulating fundraising – it already applies and with some small changes could pave the way to replacing existing out-of-date state-based laws.”
“Fundraising law is long overdue reform, and we are pleased that Labor has committed to making this an early and high political priority should they win government.”
“We are pleased that Labor has heard the call for a continuation of the Annual Charities Report. This recognises the commitment that the sector made at the establishment of the ACNC to share their data to enable evaluation and analysis of trends within the sector – leading to greater understanding the role charities play in the Australian economy and society, and better planning for the future.”
“The charities sector is the second largest employer in Australia, and reforms should be a priority for any government. A stronger charities sector means a stronger society, to the benefit of all Australians.”
“Charities and not-for-profits represent the needs of those who cannot always speak for themselves. We need to ensure that their ability to advocate is protected, so the sector’s unparalleled knowledge and understanding can be used to create a stronger society for all.”
For comment, please contact:
Sue Woodward, Head of Not-for-profit Law, Justice Connect