The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has called for greater support for charities and not-for-profits, as the Government prepares to implement heavy-handed reforms to the sector.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Bills establish a new national regulator and regulatory framework, new reporting requirements and new enforcement powers.
“The Bills will increase the regulatory burden on charities and not-for-profit organisations. Many now feel uncertain about their obligations to the proposed changes, as the consultation period has been rushed.
“Labor is creating a roadblock for the sector, which will hinder their function in the community and could discourage involvement.”
While the Government is determined to make it harder for charities to operate, op shops are experiencing a shortage of goods to sell.
Senator McKenzie, a keen op-shopper herself, said many op shops are struggling to meet demand, but with spring upon us now was the time for a clean out to support National Op Shop Week.
“Cost of living pressures have seen many people turn to op shops to help clothe their families and furnish their homes, but many also visit op shops to purchase vintage clothing and affordable household items.
“If you’ve got pants that no longer fit, t-shirts that have gotten too tight, shoes you regret purchasing or pots and pans you no longer use bundle them up and take them to your nearest op shop.
“Our consumer-driven society has seen many unwanted items build up in our homes and wardrobes.
“If you’re no longer wearing those clothes, reading those books or using items of furniture it’s likely someone else will.”
A list of local Bendigo charity op shops can be found at www.opshopweek.com.au, with nearly 20 locations listed in the Bendigo area.
Senator McKenzie, who has developed a clothing drive amongst staff in her electorate office, asked that people carefully consider what they wish to donate and ensure the items are appropriate.
“Australians donate 60 million kilos of useable clothing each year, yet 25 million kilos of donated textiles are thrown out because they can’t be used.
“In order to help address op shop shortages, items must be in a saleable condition.”