Media Release: New not-for-profit regulator almost here, 9 December 2011

The Community Council for Australia (CCA) today welcomed the release of draft legislation to establish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission as a ‘long overdue reform for Australian not-for-profit organisations.’   

According to David Crosbie, CEO of the Community Council for Australia, ‘We need to free up our charities and community groups to do their invaluable work rather than having to battle with red tape and multiple reporting requirements.  This new legislation is critical in establishing a central national regulator for the sector rather than relying on individual government bureaucracies around the country.  We need smarter legislation, smarter regulation and smarter support of our charities and community groups.’ 

Mr Crosbie was speaking after the Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten today released the first exposure draft legislation to establish the ACNC and called for submissions from the not-for-profit sector about the role of the ACNC.

Mr Crosbie said,‘We are talking about sports groups, arts and cultural groups, welfare, health, church groups, housing, employment and education.  This sector employs over 900.000 people (second only to retailing), contributes over $43 billion to our economy (8% of Australia’s GDP), and makes an invaluable contribution to our community life.  How we regulate and support this sector should be one of the highest priorities for all governments.’

Mr Crosbie also welcomed the discussion about how the governance of not-for-profit sector organisations might best be monitored by the new regulator.  ‘Most NFPs have a very close relationship with their community and the people they serve.  This special relationship needs to be reflected in any discussions about governance and accountability rather than just adopting a corporate model.  We have to get this issue right if the not-for-profit sector is to fulfil its potential across our communities.’

CCA has encouraged all community organisations to be aware of the proposed role of the new regulator and to ensure the ACNC is of benefit to them and to the communities they serve. 

Mr Crosbie said, ‘This is a period of significant reform for the not-for-profit sector with a number of consultations underway, but if we want the new regulator to work for the sector we need to take the opportunities being provided by government to have a say in its role and how it will operate.’

Contact:        David Crosbie (CEO)                      0419 624420