Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Non profit sector contributes $43 billion to Australia

Senator Ursula Stephens said the data on the non profit sector released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) highlights the enormous contribution of non profit organisations to Australian life.

The ABS Non Profit Institution Satellite Account provides a comparable measurement of the non profit, or third, sector relative to the general economy.

It found that non profit organisations contributed close to $43 billion (or 4.1%) to Australia’s economy in 2006-07.

The ABS also found that volunteers contributed over 600 million hours to non profit organisations in 2006-07, equivalent to 317 200 full-time jobs worth over $14 billion.

Senator Stephens said that these figures confirm the third sector’s highly significant contribution to our country’s economy.

“Not only does the sector make a valuable economic contribution to our country, but non profit organisations also play an invaluable role in responding to community needs, building social capital and bolstering resilience when times get tough.

“The Australian Government highly values the work of the sector and we are pursuing a number of reforms to the sector’s operational environment.

“Through our work with the states and territories, we are easing the burden of red-tape and bringing greater consistency to sector regulation.

“The Australian Government is also consulting with the sector on the development of a national compact.

“The compact is a partnership agreement between the Australian Government and the third sector that will set out the way we can work more effectively together, in a relationship built on trust and mutual respect,” said Senator Stephens.

Senator Stephens encouraged all non profit organisations to be a part of the national compact consultations by participating in the on-line forum, filling in the on-line survey or by lodging a submission. More details are available on the Social Inclusion website.