All of the Australian Greens’ recommendations from the Inquiry into the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission Bill have been delivered via amendmens in the final legislation that has passed through the Senate today.
“I have been working closely with people across the not-for-profit sector during this process and I am confident that the legislation as amended will be much more effective,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
Senator Siewert takes part in the debate around the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012. The Hansard of the debate is available online.
“The Australian Greens and the Government have worked hard to improve this Bill, which will enable the operation of a more efficient and effective not-for-profit sector.
“Our approach has contrasted greatly from the Coalition, whose ongoing negativity and lack of willingness to properly engage in the debate has been a real let down for the sector. The Coalition’s poor attitude in Canberra echoes the attitude taken by their fellow Liberal, Campbell Newman, who has reverted to the John Howard model of trying to control or gag the not-for-profit sector.
“One of our most significant recommendations sought to ensure the independence of the not-for-profit sector. The Government has now committed to legislation to prevent gag clauses - a critical step for ensuring organisations are not prevented from advocating for their causes and clients.
“Not-for-profit organisations have consistently identified red tape reduction as an important area which needs to be addressed. I am confident that this legislation strikes a sensible balance between transparency and accountability and the burden of reporting.
"Other recommendations have ensured that there will be annual reports to Parliament on the progress of the Commission towards red-tape reduction, as well as ensuring that the Governance Standards will be outcome focused, and based on consultation with the sector.
“At its heart, this legislation strives to make the not-for-profit sector stronger, offering important protections and reducing unnecessary burdens to allow operators to focus on what they do best- filling an essential role in our society.
“I intend to continue working closely with the not-for-profit sector over the coming months and years as this legislation is implemented,” Senator Siewert concluded.