The State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing the red tape confronting charitable and non-profit service agencies in Western Australia.
Addressing a forum of the Human Services Industry Roundtable, Communities Minister Sue Ellery said the Federal Government needed to show its support for the valuable work of the sector and help establish a national Standard Chart of Accounts.
Ms Ellery said many organisations faced conflicting terms and descriptions within applications for funding to governments and the private sector. Addressing these differences distracted both attention and resources away from the important work the groups were trying to do.
“Welfare charities and non-profit community services in WA are worth more than $587million per year, employ over 25,000 workers and engage 85,000 volunteers who give an estimated 10 million hours of voluntary work each year,” she said.
Minister Assisting the Minister for Federal-State Relations Margaret Quirk said it was time the Federal Government helped reduce the red tape faced by non-profit bodies.
“Just as the Federal Government needs to be mindful of the capacity of small business to wade through a raft of red tape regulations, charities and non-profit organisations face the same problem. Their special status in the community needs to be taken into account,” Ms Quirk said.
Ms Ellery said the Carpenter Government was serious about addressing the needs of the non-profit human services sector and making it easier for them to help others in WA.
“The roundtable will build on previous work, including the use of a formula that increases funding to non-profit organisations to more accurately reflect their running costs, as well as an agreement across government to fair and clear conditions for contracting services,” Ms Ellery said.
The forum was also addressed by Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes of the Queensland University of Technology Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies.
Professor McGregor-Lowndes discussed practical ways that governments could simplify accounting requirements so that non-profit organisations spend less time on paperwork and had more time to help vulnerable individuals and families.
The roundtable first met in July 2007 with representation from government ministers and departments, and representatives of the non-government and non-profit human services, housing, health and welfare bodies.
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