Bill's Media Releases

Media Release: Gillard Government reforms for a national approach to fundraising by charities

Charities would face less red tape when fundraising and people would have more certainty about how the money they donate is being spent as part of a range of national reforms proposed in a discussion paper released said Federal Member for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten.



The paper, Charitable fundraising regulation reform, examines proposals for a new, nationally-consistent approach to the laws that govern charitable fundraising and seeks the community’s views on a range of issues, including any potential exemptions for smaller charities, regulation of the conduct of fundraisers, the use of internet fundraising and fundraising by third parties on behalf of charities.

“Almost every State and Territory of Australia has a law regulating fundraising by charities”, said Mr Shorten.

“These differences create a compliance burden for those charities that raise funds in more than one State or Territory.

“Under the proposals, charities would only need to comply with one law, no matter where in Australia they conduct their fundraising activities.

“The Productivity Commission recommended reform of Australia’s fundraising laws to reduce the regulatory burden on the not-for-profit sector in its 2010 report, Contribution of the Not‑for-profit sector, and these proposals are now being advanced in the spirit of the National Compact that was made between the Government and the not-for-profit sector.”

The Australian Charities and Not‑for‑profits Commission (ACNC), the new regulator for the sector, would also have oversight of the national framework and provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for reporting on fundraising by charities. It is proposed that State and Territory regulators would also continue to play a role in jointly regulating fundraising under a national law.

“The Government has committed to working with the States and Territories to develop a more streamlined, national approach to fundraising regulation,” said Mr Shorten

“Improving transparency and information disclosure, as well as making regulation consistent across Australia, not only has the potential to cut red tape for the sector but it will also help to ensure that when making a donation, people have confidence that the money they are contributing will go towards their chosen charity programs.”

The discussion paper is available at www.treasury.gov.au.  Submissions are due by 5 April 2012.

Suburbs in the Maribyrnong electorate include: Aberfeldie, Airport West, Albion, Avondale Heights, Brooklyn (part), Essendon, Essendon North, Essendon West, Kealba, Keilor East, Keilor Park, Maribyrnong (part), Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, St Albans (part), Sunshine, Sunshine North and Tullamarine (part).

 

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Media Contact: Kieran Barns-Jenkins (03) 9326 1300