Aged and community care provider, UnitingCare NSW.ACT, has welcomed a passage of legislation to establish the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC).
UnitingCare NSW.ACT executive director, Reverend Harry Herbert, said he hoped the regulator would lead to greater transparency within the sector, restoring much needed public faith to promote charitable giving.
“A growing awareness of organisations using an inappropriate amount of funds on overhead costs has contributed to Australians giving less than in previous years,” Reverend Herbert said.
Individual tax deductible donations, according to the Australian Tax Office, decreased by 6.3% in the 2009-10 income year, with refundable franking credits claimed by charities decreasing by 17.7%. This reportedly shows the pressure on the sector to continue operating efficiently and effectively, according to UnitingCare NSW.ACT.
“The establishment of the ACNC is a coming of age moment for the community services sector,” Reverend Herbert said.
“It can no longer be acceptable for thousands of organisations to ask Australians to give generously and then not report on where their hard earned money is being spent.”
UnitingCare has been a strong national voice in establishing the ACNC, pushing for greater transparency and independence of the sector.
“Charities and not-for-profits need legislated protection to deny government or other stakeholders from interfering with the sometimes contentious work we carry out in the community.
“The new body will provide protection for unincorporated church charities which, from time to time, are subject to impositions on their resources from their parent churches.
“We cannot afford to allow others to meddle in the business of helping people for their own purposes.”
UnitingCare will continue to work with the federal government to support the independence of the not-for-profit sector.