New council to cut red tape for not-for-profit sector

Community organisation announcement:

Minister for Social Inclusion Tanya Plibersek today announced the composition of the Gillard Labor Government's Not-for-Profit Sector Reform Council.

"The creation of the council fulfils an important election promise and demonstrates the government’s ongoing commitment to the not-for-profit sector," said Ms Plibersek.

"The council will help drive the government's plans to reform the sector including cutting red tape which will free up resources and assist not-for-profits do what they do best -- help people."

Ms Plibersek said the council will be chaired by Linda Lavarch from the Australian Centre of Philanthropic and Nonprofit studies and will include a list of eminent figures from the not-for-profit sector.

Full membership of the council includes:

Linda Lavarch Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Anne Robinson Prolegis Lawyers
Glenn Appleyard Australian Accounting Standards Board
Ken Baker National Disability Services
Sandy Blackburn-Wright Westpac, Community Development
Kasy Chambers Anglicare
Michael Coleman KPMG
David Crosbie Community Council for Australia
Cassandra Goldie Australian Council of Social Service
Suzie Hazlehurst Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation
Evelyn O’Loughlin Volunteering SA and NT
Frank Quinlan Catholic Social Services Australia

Ms Plibersek said the council will examine the scope of a national one-stop-shop regulator, provide advice on streamlining tendering and contracting processes for government funded not-for-profits and consider harmonization of federal, state and territory laws on fundraising.

Ms Plibersek made the announcement as she launched the book ‘Modernising Charity Law - Recent directions and future developments’ edited by Professor Myles McGregor Lowndes and Professor Kerry O’Halloran, also of the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit studies.

Minister Plibersek thanked professors Lowndes and O'Halloran for presenting new ideas which will inform the government's plans to reform the sector.

“The government recognises both the social and economic contribution the not-for-profit sector makes to the community, dedicating countless hours to helping disadvantaged and vulnerable people across Australia."

Ms Plibersek said data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics identified 59,000 economically significant not-for-profit organisations which contribute nearly $43 billion to Australia’s gross domestic product each year.

In addition, she said, there were more than five million volunteers who work for not-for-profit organisations with an equivalent wage value of $15 billion per annum.

"As professors Lowndes and O'Halloran point out, regulatory reform of the not-for-profit sector has not kept pace with the situation on the ground and the government is determined to change this. Their research and insights will be an invaluable resource as the government progresses significant and much needed reform.”

*** Media Release: The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Human Services, Minister for Social Inclusion

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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