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Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia



Minister for Social Inclusion Mark Butler and Assistant Treasurer Mark Arbib today announced the membership and terms of reference of a new working group that will consider ideas for better delivering the support currently provided through tax concessions to the not-for-profit (NFP) sector.

The Gillard Government provides the NFP sector with significant support through a range of tax concessions in recognition of the important role it plays in the community.

These include concessions for income tax, fringe benefits tax (FBT) and goods and services tax (GST), and also deductible gift recipient (DGR) status.

The new working group will consider ideas raised at the Tax Forum.

“The Government is committed to supporting the NFP sector, and it is important that that support is as effective as possible,” Senator Arbib said.

“At October’s Tax Forum, there was discussion about whether the current support provided through tax concessions could be better targeted.

“The NFP Sector Tax Concession Working Group will examine the current range of tax concessions and whether there are fairer, simpler and more effective ways of delivering the current envelope of support.”

Consistent with the Government’s commitment to fiscal discipline, the Working Group will also identify offsetting savings from benefits provided to the NFP sector for any proposals that have a budget cost.

“Consultation with the broad and diverse NFP sector will be critical to achieving lasting reform,” Mr Butler said.

“The Working Group will form part of the NFP Sector Reform Council, and will ensure the Government hears the views of the sector on how we can best support it to do its good work.”

The Working Group will be chaired by Linda Lavarch, the chair of the NFP Sector Reform Council, and will include a diverse range of representatives from the NFP sector and also technical experts.

The Working Group will build on the Government’s broader NFP reform agenda, which will deliver smarter regulation and reduce red tape.  These reforms include:

  • establishing the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to provide a one-stop shop for charities to help support the sector;
  • working with the States and Territories on a national approach to the regulation of the NFP sector, including national fundraising laws for the sector;
  • implementing a ‘report-once use-often’ general reporting framework for charities and a public information portal by 1 July 2013; and
  • introducing a statutory definition of ‘charity’ from 1 July 2013.


The membership of the NFP Sector Tax Concession Working Group will be:


Linda Lavarch (Chair)

Chair, Not-for-profit Sector Reform Council


John Emerson

Partner, Freehills


Father Brian Lucas

General Secretary, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference


Elizabeth Lucas

Member, National Tax Liaison Group – FBT Subcommittee


Greg Mackie OAM

Executive Director, Ageing, SA Health

Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the arts

Tim Morris-Smith

Chief Financial Officer, Mission Australia


Heather Neil

Chief Executive Officer, RSPCA Australia


Ann O’Connell

Associate Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne


Anne Robinson

Deputy Chair, Not-for-profit Sector Reform Council


Miranda Stewart

Associate Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne


Joe Zabar

Director, Services Sustainability, UnitingCare Australia

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