Coulton’s Catch-up 7th May
Plan for better transparency and accountability of registered organisations
The revelations involving the Health Services Union demonstrate that there is a need to ensure that the money paid by members to registered organisations is used for proper purposes. We know that some organisations have used money for inappropriate purposes and breached the existing rules and this is evidence that the existing laws need improvement.
There is no valid reason as to why a registered organisation and their officers cannot be subject to the same standards as a company and its board of directors. It is necessary to toughen up the rules to ensure that there is a proper deterrent to stop people who might think about doing the wrong thing by their members. No-one wants to see a repeat of the situation involving the HSU.
The Coalition will make sure that members of registered organisations, mainly small businesses and workers, can be assured that their money is being used for the right things.
Just as there are rules to ensure that companies and their board of directors do the right thing, the same rules should apply to registered organisations and their officers. Our changes will ensure that registered organisations and their officers are as accountable and transparent as companies and their directors and play by the same rules.
It is also clear that Fair Work Australia is not up to the job of making sure that registered organisations do the right thing – they are either a model of incompetence or are engaging in a deliberate go-slow to protect the current Government.
The Liberal National Coalition will make sure that there is a regulator with teeth, by removing the investigative and compliance powers over registered organisations from Fair Work Australia, and give them instead to a new, genuinely independent body, to be called the Registered Organisations Commission.
The new regulator will have stronger powers, will act quickly and efficiently, and will be required to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies.
Although the overwhelming majority of registered organisations do the right thing, the Coalition will ensure that they are strongly deterred from doing the wrong thing and that where inappropriate actions occur, they can be investigated and enforced by a genuinely independent regulator with teeth.
National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week is an opportunity for us all to thank, recognise and show our appreciation to volunteers in our communities for their sacrifices, hard work, time and energy.
This year National Volunteer Week will be celebrated from May 14 to May 20 2012. I would like to encourage residents of the Parkes electorate to consider what they can do to contribute to the communities in which they live. I have often said that volunteers are the backbone of our communities and National Volunteer Week is a wonderful way in which we can all recognise the significant role they play.
Australian volunteers are essential to society, and many charities would struggle to survive without the support of their volunteers. There are opportunities for volunteers in a diverse range of areas such as community health care, heritage and arts, environment conservation, emergency services, education, social justice and sports. For more information go to: www.volunteeringaustralia.org