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Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Economic downturn an opportunity for Third Sector Reform

Senator Ursula Stephens, today reinforced the Government’s commitment to supporting Third Sector organisations during the economic downturn.

Speaking in Brisbane at the Modernising Charity Law Conference organised by the Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Philanthropy and Non Profit Studies, Senator Stephens said the economic downturn is a time for self-reflection in the sector and that opportunity is the child of crisis.

“These difficult economic times make it all the more important for us to progress our sector reform agenda, to reduce the red tape burden and free up organisations to focus more squarely on their missions and the services they provide.” Senator Stephens said.

Senator Stephens reflected that the international experience shared by guests at the conference is that sector leadership is critical and she continued to encourage Australia’s Third Sector organizations to progress their own strategic leadership model.

“As Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, I understand the need to support reform in this sector, especially in light of these uncertain economic times.”

“The economic downturn presents an opportunity for the sector to emerge stronger, more mission-focused and with new relationships not only with government but across the sector as well,” Senator Stephens said.