UnitedFuture leader, Hon Peter Dunne, has welcomed changes to the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill heralded this evening.
The changes announced this evening will exempt registered charities from the cost recovery scheme and have come about following a collaboration between Hon Peter Dunne and the Government.
“UnitedFuture supports the vital role that volunteer and community organisations play in our society, acknowledging that these organisations often have the expertise, community knowledge and focus to deliver services in ways that the Government cannot.
“Ensuring that the charitable sector is free to operate with as few burdens as possible is essential for having an effective charitable sector,” said Mr Dunne.
“This Bill, as it stood, would have imposed additional burdens on charities for basic services that are crucial to the operation of the sector, such as police checks on their volunteers.
“It is simply not fair or practicable to require charities to pay for the police checks of their volunteers, the result would have been to force charities to spend their money on compliance instead of delivering the essential services they focus on.
“In light of that, and after discussing the issue with several stakeholders in the sector, I raised the issue with the Minister of Police when this Bill was in the Select Committee in the middle of last year.
“This has been an ongoing conversation between UnitedFuture and the Minister of Police since then.
“I am delighted that through our discussions, the Government has moved to balance the needs of charities with the interests of securing revenue for the Police Service.
“This Bill is a good Bill that allows the Police to recoup certain costs that they incur, however, it is not appropriate to place additional burdens on the charitable sector.
“On the basis that I have been assured that registered charities will be exempt from the cost recovery regime, UnitedFuture will continue to support this Bill.
“This is another example of the positive contribution UnitedFuture has made to ensure that our communities continue to operate successfully,” said Mr Dunne.
The cost recovery regime’s fees and exemptions are set through regulation and UnitedFuture has been given an undertaking that the Minister will introduce regulations to exempt registered charities from the cost recovery regime.