Minister Collins on banning gag clauses for NFPs

Below is an email we received from Minister Julie Collins' office, which we have permission to share with you. We're interested to know what you think - how would a ban on advocacy work affect your organisation? Comments accepted below, or email us info@equalityrightsalliance.org.au if you prefer.

 


 

Dear Friend

We believe that an independent and innovative Not-For-Profit sector is essential to building a fair community.

The past few weeks in Queensland have reminded us how Liberal governments treat community organisations.

Premier Newman has introduced gag clauses into community services contracts which prevent funded organisations from advocating for the most vulnerable in our community. The Howard Government gagged the community sector too.

We lifted those gag orders in 2008 and we’re acting to make sure your right to voice the views of the people you support and to advocate on their behalf is not threatened in the future.

That’s why this Labor Government has now announced it will legislate to ban gag clauses in Commonwealth contracts with the NFP sector.

This is part of a new relationship based on respect between the Federal Government and non-government organisations. Our Labor Government has also:

  • Doubled funding for emergency relief and made significant investments toward financial counselling services
  • Committed around $3 billion to meet our share of Fair Work Australia’s historic decision to lift the wages of 150,000 of some of Australia’s lowest paid workers in the social and community services sector. 
  • Introduced legislation to establish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission, to strengthen and support the sector, reduce red tape and create an independent one-stop shop regulator for the sector.
  • Developed the first-ever National Compact between the Government and the community sector.

Let’s continue to work together to ensure the voices of local people, particularly the most vulnerable people in our community, are heard by all governments.

Best wishes

 

Jenny Macklin MP and Julie Collins MP