Media Release: Finally - charities given a voice

‘The new regulator for Australian charities represents a coming of age that will enable the whole sector to grow and change for the better. Well done to all those who have delivered this major reform,’ said Rev Tim Costello, Chair of Community Council for Australia (CCA); CEO of World Vision. 

After decades of discussion, numerous reports and recommendations, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) will be officially launched today in Melbourne by Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury at Charcoal Lane in Fitzroy. The charities and not-for-profit sector employs over 1 million people and has an annual turnover of $100 billion.  Leaders from across the charities and not-for-profit sector have welcomed the launch of the ACNC, seeing it as a critical reform.

David Crosbie, CEO of the CCA said; ‘charities are choking on a dog’s breakfast of regulations and compliance.  The establishment of the ACNC will not only reduce red tape, but give voice to a sector that has been neglected for far too long.  We need to use this collective voice to hold the new regulator to account, build capacity, strength and innovation across the charities sector.’

Toby Hall, CEO of Mission Australia said; ‘if we want our communities to flourish, we must support our not-for-profit sector and get the regulatory environment right.  The ACNC is a critical part of that support.  I commend all those involved in establishing the ACNC and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to ensure this new regulator can fulfill its promise.’

Dr Lisa Obrien, CEO of the Smith Family said;‘the establishment of the ACNC is an important acknowledgement of the significant role of the charities and not-for-profit sector in Australia and the sector’s growing importance for Australia’s future wellbeing.’

Rev Keith Garner, CEO of Wesley Mission said; ‘the value of the work carried out by charities in Australia cannot be over-stated.  It has seemed strange to me that the Australian Taxation Office would be the default regulator for charities.  I am looking forward to having our own charities passport and achieving a real reduction in red tape and compliance costs.’

Jayne Meyer Tucker, CEO of Good Beginnings Australia said; ‘this is such an important first step – an important step in Australia’s Not For Profit future.  We commend those involved who have worked so hard for so long to make this big step forward a reality.’

CCA have previously highlighted that at present in Australia, every time a charity interacts with funders and regulators – whether it is to gain a local council concession on rates, a state government approval for fundraising or an Australian Taxation Office concession – they have to prove they are a charity and establish their bona fides.   The new ACNC charities passport will cut through much of this red tape.   The ACNC will report annually to Parliament and to the not-for-profit sector.

Contact:        David Crosbie   0419 624 42