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The ACNC’s third object is to promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the Australian not‑for‑profit sector.

We have worked with all state and territory governments over the years on ways to bring about meaningful reductions in red tape for charities, including our ‘report once, use often’ framework for reporting. We have made significant progress on this front, particularly with reporting for incorporated associations.

Incorporated associations in most states now benefit from arrangements that allow them to report once to the ACNC rather than providing the same information to both state and Commonwealth governments. This has saved thousands of charities time and money spent on administrative duties, freeing them up to focus on their important work.

This means that these charities must meet the ACNC requirements in reporting information. To help, after we set up an arrangement with a state regulator, we allow a transitional period so charities can adjust to any changes and become familiar with what they need to do.

The period of transition has passed for charities that are incorporated associations in the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia. These charities now benefit from simplified reporting, but they must meet all the ACNC requirements to continue to do so.

For charities that are incorporated associations in NSW and Victoria, the period of transition will conclude at the end of the 2019 reporting period. From the 2020 reporting period onwards, these charities will join their counterparts from other states and territories in benefitting from simplified and streamlined reporting. If an incorporated association in NSW or Victoria wants to make use of the option to just report to the ACNC, rather than doubling up with the state regulator, they must meet all the ACNC obligations. The ACNC will pass relevant information on to our state colleagues.

And for charities that are incorporated associations in the Northern Territory, there is one more year of transition, the 2020 reporting period.

The ACNC reporting requirements are outlined on our website. We recommend charities become familiar with what is required so that they continue to meet their obligations.

We have also made important progress in our work with states and territories on fundraising regulation.

We have collaborated to streamline the process by which charities obtain and maintain fundraising licences in most states, and I am pleased to now add Western Australia to this list following a recent agreement with the state government in WA. This agreement significantly improves reporting requirements for charities that conduct fundraising in Western Australia, allowing them to spend less time and money on administrative compliance and more on charitable work.

You can follow our progress on reducing red tape and see the requirements in each state and territory here.

Despite the significant achievements to date, there is still work to do.

One of our priorities is to harmonise the reporting requirements for all registered charities.

Reducing the regulatory burden on charities is crucial if we are to enable them to flourish and get on with the essential work they do to support the community.

We are committed to continuing to work towards this goal with our state and Commonwealth colleagues.

Best wishes, 

The Hon Dr Gary Johns