Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

ACOSS report supports a national compact

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Ursula Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector

A new report from the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) shows strong support from the non-profit sector for a partnership agreement with Government similar to compacts in other countries.

A national compact, or similar mechanism, would outline how the Government and non-profits would work better together to create lasting change in communities.

It would be underpinned by specific measures including a code of conduct, mediation approaches and agreed ways to resolve conflict.

It would also provide a framework for addressing regulatory and legislative reform and initiatives to enhance the viability of the sector.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said the Government wanted a more robust and creative relationship with the sector that delivers so many important services to people in our community.

“This is critical to getting things done in key areas, like reducing homelessness or closing the gap in Indigenous life outcomes,” Ms Macklin said.

The Government commissioned ACOSS to consult with the sector to gauge the level of interest among non-profit organisations for a compact.

The report was based on consultations held at 16 forums across Australia between July and October and 60 submissions.

“ACOSS has done the important groundwork in this document and I look forward to working with their newly appointed CEO, Clare Martin, to achieve further reform,” Ms Macklin said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Ursula Stephens, attended many of the consultations and encourages all non-profit organisations to continue to be involved.

“We know from the initial consultations that the success of a compact will depend on building a strong and collaborative relationship with the non-profit sector, while enabling the sector to do what it does best – deliver on-the-ground assistance – by supporting the viability and independence of the sector.”

The next phase of work will commence in early 2009.

To access a copy of the report, please visit the FaHCSIA website.

For further information on the next round of consultations or to keep up to date on the progress of the National Compact go to the Social Inclusion website.