Media Release: Charities welcome ALP government – time for change

Charities across Australia are looking forward to working with the new Labor government to address the critical need for reform and stronger support of the charities and not-for-profit (NFP) sector.

David Crosbie, CEO of CCA said, ‘The Labor party has adopted a strong set of policies informed by a fundamental commitment to working with charities rather than against them. ALP policies include developing a blueprint for the sector, increasing incentives for philanthropy, supporting digital transformation, staff development, increasing the length of contracts, establishing two new high level advisory groups, and ending red tape impediments to charity fundraising and productivity.

Shadow Charities Minister Andrew Leigh has been in his current role for almost a decade and has a deep understanding of the sector. CCA hope Andrew Leigh continues in this role and becomes the Minister for Charities to ensure charity and NFP voices are integral to policy making in the new government.’

Rev Tim Costello AO, Chair of CCA said; ’One of the strongest messages of this election campaign is the effectiveness of community-based movements. The election result reinforces the message that local people coming together in shared endeavours can make a big difference, and that is exactly what charities are all about. Governments that are serious about change know they need to actively engage with charities in their policy development and implementation.’

A CCA pre-election survey of over 3,400 people across 20 marginal electorates found that over 90% of respondents were involved in local charities and believed the way governments worked with charities was very important to the future of their communities.

David Crosbie said that over the past three years charities had expressed growing concerns about government decision-making processes, ‘particularly in relation to government grants that seemed to be increasingly influenced by political factors rather than where programs were most needed and which organisations could be most effective. Charities sometimes have to represent views that may not be supportive of government policies and priorities, but that should not mean they are then excluded from participation in government decision making or funding opportunities.’

Charities employ over 1.3 million Australians, turn over more than $150 billion and contribute over 8% of GDP. Despite the critical role of charities in Australia, the Coalition government did not participate in pre- election forums with the charities sector. Both the ALP and Greens actively engaged with charities in pre- election policy forums and discussions.