Tim Costello defends charity regulator against Abbott's axe
CHARITY sector leader Reverend Tim Costello has urged the Abbott government to cast aside its planned abolition of the sector's new regulator, in the face of overwhelming evidence that most non-profits support it.
The government, has legislation before parliament to act on its plans to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, but the legislation has not been brought on for debate since March this year.
Since the legislation was introduced, much of the charities sector has been facing uncertain times, and has been lobbying the government and crossbench to retain the ACNC.
Rev Costello on Monday spoke at the National Press Club, urging the government to backtrack on its plans, and bow to community pressure on the issue in the same way it has over now abandoned changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
He and other charity leaders released a new survey conducted for the sector revealing some 82% of the non-profits in Australia supported the role of the ACNC, and believed it was "important or very important" to charities.
But Rev Costello said that some "powerful interests" had already persuaded the government to pursue its plans to abolish the regulator, despite it having widespread support of the very sector it kept in check.
"The sector overwhelmingly believes the government has got it wrong in its attempts to dismantle the ACNC," he said.
Rev Costello further said it was a "profound mystery" that the government was still pursuing the abolition of the regulator and he hope it would "go the way of 18C", the section of the RDA which the government had planned to reform but has since walked away from. - APN NEWSDESK