Labor welcomes the bipartisan support from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for changes to protect charities and minimize the impact of the Turnbull Government’s lacklustre legislation.
The Committee’s recommendation to provide greater clarity for the sector and minimise regulatory and compliance burdens are a fitting result after months of Labor going into bat for our charities.
This follows years of Labor fighting to reform our political donation system to provide transparency and accountability – important protections, which Labor remains committed to, against undue influence on our democratic process.
Labor stood up for our democracy and protected civil society.
Labor has worked with the charities and not-for-profits sector to protect the rights of trusted community voices.
Guided by the community, Labor members of the committee have ensured the parliamentary process has worked as intended. They have scrutinised the intent of this poorly written bill, examined its proposed means of delivering on that intent and have shown that it’s not fit for purpose.
Labor has acted on behalf of individuals, organisations and communities who have come together to protest unnecessary constraints on vital contributions to Australian democracy.
But we haven’t thrown the baby out with the bath water. Labor remains committed to reforming Australian politics and rebuilding public trust, just not in a way that silences our hard working charitable sector.
Charities and not-for-profits shouldn’t have to be fighting for their right to participate in public conversations about what’s best for our communities. We should be making it easier for charities and not for profits do their work.
Labor’s commitment to the sector is clear. We value the participation of community voices and will always take the right steps to ensure they can be heard.
As Bill Shorten said, we can clean up donations without silencing our charities and not-for-profits. Labor is not interested in laws which punish Australian charities.