Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Australian Government and Not-for-Profit sector sign up to National Compact

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister
  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Today’s launch of the National Compact with the third sector will continue to rebuild the relationship between Government and the not-for-profit sector, that suffered under the previous Government.

Delivering on an election commitment, the National Compact: working together is an agreement setting out how the Rudd Government and the sector want to work together.

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin and the Parliamentary Secretary for Voluntary Sector, Ursula Stephens today signed the compact on behalf of the Australian Government, along with 23 foundation signatories from the sector.

The Rudd Government developed the compact in consultation with Australia’s third sector – the broad range of not-for-profit organisations that exist to provide services, advance causes, share enthusiasm, preserve traditions or worship together.

One of our first acts in government was to remove the ‘gag clauses’ in government contracts that prevented the not-for-profit sector from speaking out. This long-awaited compact is important in continuing to rebuild the trust that was broken under the Howard Government.

The recent Productivity Report into the not-for-profit sector highlighted the important economic contribution it plays, providing more than $43 billion to the Australian economy each year.

Not-for-profit organisations contribute to good public policy, enrich our culture, protect our environment and promote health and wellbeing, as well as advocate on behalf of Australian communities including vulnerable and marginalised groups.

The National Compact: working together includes eight priorities for action:

  • Document and promote the value and contribution of the sector;
  • Protect the sector’s right to advocacy irrespective of any funding relationship that might exist;
  • Recognise sector diversity in consultation processes and sector development initiatives;
  • Improve information sharing including greater access to publicly funded research and data;
  • Reduce red tape and streamline reporting;
  • Simplify and improve consistency of financial arrangements including across state and federal jurisdictions;
  • Act to improve paid and unpaid workforce issues; and
  • Improve funding and procurement processes.

All not-for-profit organisations are invited to sign up to the compact. Interested organisations should visit the National Compact website.