Media Release: Long overdue - real reform for community organisations

‘Community organisations are tired of jumping through bureaucratic hoops that provide no useful information and serve no useful purpose.  Despite the fact that the not-for profit sector contributes $43 billion to Australia’s economy, the needs of the sector have largely been ignored by governments in the past,’ according to David Crosbie, CEO of the Community Council of Australia.

Mr Crosbie was speaking following the release of the Scoping Study for a national not-for-profit regulator by Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten and Minister for Social Inclusion Tanya Plibersek.  The scoping study outlines some of the issues for Australia’s 600,000 not for profit organisations and seeks input from the sector on the role of a ‘one stop shop’ government regulator.

Mr Crosbie welcomed the scoping study and the opportunity for the sector to have input.  “It is particularly pleasing that this report builds on previous reports from the Productivity Commission, the Senate Economics Committee, and international developments in the area.  We do not want to reinvent the wheel here.  This report provides a good basis for moving forward.’

Mr Toby Hall, CEO of Mission Australia and Director of CCA commended the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Social Inclusion for taking a lead on not-for profit reform.  ‘We need to create a regulatory environment that works for community organisations not against them.  There have been many reports over the years calling for change, but the not-for-profit sector has not had many champions in Cabinet.  Government and the not-for-profit sector need to seize this opportunity to develop smarter regulation, reduce red tape and improve transparency for not-for profits.’

Dr Stephen Judd, CEO of Hammond Care and a Director of CCA also welcomed the report.  ‘The compliance costs imposed on health and aged care providers have very limited benefit for governments, the community or most importantly, the people we serve, our clients and their families.  Government should allow us to achieve rather than continuously impose more onerous compliance costs.  We welcome this opportunity to have input.’

Heather Neil, CEO of RSPCA Australia and member of CCA said, ‘I am pleased this scoping study recognizes the not-for-profit sector encompasses a very broad range of organisations that make an invaluable contribution to Australian community life.  If we strengthen not-for profit organisations and make their jobs easier, governments and the whole community will benefit.’