ACNC abolition hangs in balance

Independent Senator John Madigan has vowed to vote against the abolition of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), in a move that will cancel out a vote of one his fellow crossbenchers.

The news follows an announcement by Senator David Leyonhjelm from the Liberal Democratic Party who told news site Pro Bono Australia that he does not support the ACNC.

The planned abolition of the not-for-profit (NFP) regulator was delayed earlier this year after the Greens forced it to be referred to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry.

Currently, a bill to repeal the ACNC is before the senate and is due to be debated in the final session before Christmas.

However, speaking against the move, Senator Madigan referred to the federal government’s plans to disband the charities regular as “bewildering” and said the ACNC served an important role.

“The ACNC provides a stamp of approval to legitimate charities and supports trust in the NFP sector. I will not be voting for its abolition,” he told Pro Bono Australia.

In contrast, a spokesperson for Senator Leyonhjelm said: “The Liberal Democrats believe that the regulation of charities is not necessary beyond tax regulation by the Australian Taxation Office and company regulation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – donors can make their own choices about who to support.”

Pro Bono Australia said that with Labor and the Greens locked in a stalemate with the coalition, it is likely that the five crossbench senators and the Palmer United Party senators will make the final deciding votes on the ACNC’s future.