Showing posts from May, 2015

Struggle Street and a hard-earned win for charities

You wouldn't know it from the budget papers, but the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission is here to stay.

Budget Related Paper 1.16 uses the same studiously neutral language it used last time...

"The ACNC provides independent determination and registration of charities, health promotion institutions, and public benevolent institutions for all Commonwealth purposes."

"The implementation of a 'report-once, use-often' general reporting framework is to reduce red tape and simplify the regulatory framework... to make it easier for not-for-profits to deliver their services to the community."

"On March 19, 2014, the government introduced the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Repeal Bill. However, the ACNC will continue to operate in its current form whilst the current ACNC Act remains in effect and the program expenses reflect this."

What's happened behind the scenes is that the government has given up abolis…

In search of policy logic and certainty

Tony Abbott came into office seeking to be the "infrastructure prime minister". Imagine him pulling down bridges and ripping up roads. Of course not. There would be outrage. He'd be accused of reckless vandalism.

The Prime Minister hasn't been blowing up rail lines, but in the past 20 months he has been ripping policy infrastructure. Big time. It's as if none of the work that that has gone before him matters.

During the election he claimed to be on a "unity ticket" with Labor on the Gonski school funding reforms. "We will honour the agreements that Labor has entered into," he said. "We will match the offers that Labor has made. We will make sure that no school is worse off."

Right after the election Labor's Gonski report disappeared from government websites. It didn't return to public view until a Fairfax journalist put in a freedom of information request which forced its publication under a rule requiring documents releas…