Responding to the report published today by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Oxfam Australia Head of Public Policy and Advocacy Rachel Ball said:
“Along with many major Australian not-for-profits and charities, Oxfam is calling for the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill to be withdrawn for extensive redrafting and proper consultation.
“Despite the recommendations made today by the Joint Standing Committee, there remains a lack of clarity around how this proposed legislation impacts on the work of Oxfam and other charities and not-for-profits. The devil is the detail and that is what is lacking in the Committee’s recommendations.
“Oxfam acknowledges the attempts of the Committee to address the many concerns raised by civil society, but we’re concerned it does not go far enough.
“Sometimes it’s easier to pull a faulty house down and rebuild it, rather than trying to do renovations.
Our concern is that even if the recommended amendments were made, this Bill could affect the critical work done by Oxfam and other charities and not-for-profits.
“Oxfam does a range of important advocacy work that could be affected. Through our work with communities living in poverty we gain an understanding of the drivers and barriers that entrench poverty in communities.
“In our advocacy, we use that evidence base to propose systemic change, to present policy ideas or alternatives, and to critique existing positions. Evidence based policy, advocacy and campaigning allows us to scale up our work and positively impact more people living in poverty.
“We do this around rising sea levels in the Pacific, the conditions of workers in factories that make garments for Australian brands and the needs of people living in refugee camps around the world.”
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