The Australian Greens said today the Government is undermining the effectiveness and capacity of our not-for-profit sector at a time when it faces growing pressure as a result of budget cuts to welfare and social security.
The Greens have tabled a dissenting report into the bill repealing the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission.
"The Greens are advocates of the ACNC because of the vital role that a vibrant charity sector plays in our community, delivering important services to hundreds of thousands of people and leading the debate on important issues such as inequality and poverty," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.
"Demand for community, social and emergency relief services is set to soar in the wake of the recent budget, and the Government's response is to weaken the sector by abolishing an effective and popular regulator.
"80% of the submissions to this inquiry favour keeping the ACNC in place, reflecting the years of work from people across sector that went into its establishment during the 43rd Parliament.
"The Government are now set to dismantle a reform package that safeguards a vibrant, diverse and independent civil society.
"The Government's recklessness on this issue has been highlighted during the Inquiry, as we have established that only ‘informal consultations' have been undertaken and that no replacement model for the ACNC has been outlined yet. It would be irresponsible to the sector and the community to repeal a popular and effective regulator without any viable alternative having been proposed.
"The Inquiry heard compelling evidence that moving away from the ACNC to outdated models of regulation would further entrench a failed regulatory system and do nothing to reduce red tape. The sector does not want to return to the ATO as regulator of the sector, that is like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.
"The ACNC provides important modernisations across the sector to help ensure organisations are better equipped to operate in the 21st century. The Government should work with the sector to improve the ACNC, rather than taking the backwards step of destroying it.
"The Greens strongly recommend that the ACNC Repeal Bills are rejected by the Senate," Senator Siewert concluded.