Media Release

9 May 2019

One of Australia's leading suppliers of education, tech tools and connections for the not-for-profit sector has welcomed with open arms the Australian Labor Party policy statement regarding charities in Australia.

Our Community Founder and Group Managing Director Denis Moriarty said if the ALP's charities policies were enacted following the May 18 election, it would result in the end to an appalling period of governance over the not-for-profit sector in Australia.

"This vital sector has been treated with contempt over the past six years, enduring policies that seemed designed to crush civil society and the ACNC, and successive waves of disinterested and incompetent presiding ministers and parliamentary secretaries," he said.

"We welcome and eagerly await the opportunity to replace the top-down, far-right-wing agenda that has predominated in recent years with one of respect and authentic engagement.

"While we welcome the stated policy, if elected the ALP will equally be held to account."

Mr Moriarty said the not-for-profit sector in Australia was both economically and socially significant but had been neglected and under-valued over recent years. He welcomed the prospect of a renewed focus on the sector, including new advisory committees and the appointment of a Charities Minister for the first time in the nation's history.

"The sector is all grown up and growing fast, contributing tens of billions of dollars to GDP each year. Putting in place a minister, alongside some key advisory committees, will give a new government the insights and focus it needs to ensure regulation and development of the sector is overseen appropriately," Mr Moriarty said.

Mr Moriarty also expressed unqualified support for plans to harmonise fundraising regulation in Australia.

"Our giving platform, GiveNow, processes donations for more than 4000 not-for-profit organisations so we have witnessed first-hand, over two decades, the Kafkaesque labyrinth of red tape and 'bullshit bureaucracy' that fundraising organisations have been forced to endure," he said. "It's well beyond time that we dispense with these outdated and nonsensical rules that rob people of valuable time they could instead be using to serve vulnerable people in our society."

Mr Moriarty reserved particular praise for the ALP's plans to put in place protections for advocacy.

"Advocacy is at the heart of civil society and it must be protected at all costs. Over the past six years the Coalition Government has waged an underground war of deceit and more recently open warfare designed to slowly chip away at those whose only intent is to advance and transform the nation," Mr Moriarty said. "Nothing changes without brave people speaking truth to power. The right to do so must be restored."

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