Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Productivity Commission report into the contribution of the not-for-profit sector

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector
    Senator Nick Sherry, Assistant Treasurer

The Rudd Government today welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s final report on the Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector Report.

The Minister for Community Services, Jenny Macklin, the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, said the report highlighted the importance of the not-for-profit sector in the Australian economy and society.

The sector has grown rapidly over the past decade and now makes up more than 4 per cent of GDP or around $43 billion according to the report.

Ms Macklin said the sector plays an important role in delivering services, developing social policy and advocating on behalf of marginalised groups.

‘This important report will help us identify ways to improve our partnership with the sector to ensure we maximise its contribution to Australia,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘The draft report identifies barriers which prevent non profit organisations from getting on with the job. It is critical that we overcome these barriers, particularly for those organisations that deliver services in the community on behalf of the government’.

The Assistant Treasurer said the Rudd Government had asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a research study on the contributions of the not-for-profit sector, with a focus on improving the measurement of the sector’s contribution.

‘The Productivity Commission’s report highlights the enormous contribution the not for- profit sector makes to Australian society and to the economy,’ the Assistant Treasurer said.

‘The not-for-profit sector is large and diverse, with around 600,000 organisations and has been growing over the past decade at average annual rate of almost 8 per cent.’

Senator Stephens said the report underlined how important the work of volunteers was to the sector.

‘According to the Productivity Commission, more Australians are volunteering, with strong growth in culture and recreation organisations, with nearly 5 million volunteers contributing an additional $14.6 billion in unpaid work,’ Senator Stephens said.

‘The Government values the critical contribution of volunteers to our vision of an inclusive Australia where everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.’

The Rudd Government commends the Productivity Commission for its comprehensive report and thanks all the individuals and organisations who made submissions.

The Government will carefully consider the detail of the report.

The report and a series of supporting appendices are available on the Productivity Commission website.