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Charities to continue to play a major role in recovery

In an Open letter from the Charities Crisis Cabinet to the Prime Minister Rev Tim Costello AO and Ms Susan Pascoe, Co- Chairs of Charities Crisis Cabinet write:

Dear Prime Minister, We would like to begin this letter by again thanking you for your support of charities and not-for-profit organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures you have put in place have ensured thousands of charities across Australia have remained viable, thousands more charity workers have been able to keep their jobs, and critical services have been able to respond to existing and emerging community needs. The way the government has engaged with the charities and not-for-profit sector and listened to our concerns and proposals has been important for the sector through these unprecedented times. As you know, charities employ around 1.3 million staff or 10% of all Australian workers and contributes over 8% to our GDP. This is more jobs than in construction, manufacturing, mining and most other industry groups. While this economic contribution is critical, it is the work we do to keep communities strong, the leveraging of volunteers and community support that enables charities to punch well above their weight in terms of our impact on communities, national productivity, and the economy. Given the critical role of charities in supporting and rebuilding both our communities and our economy, it is disappointing that the charities and not-for-profit sector has been left outside of important national policy discussions about rebuilding our economy, especially within the new National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board. While it is good that some of the members of this Commission serve on charity Boards, the failure to involve experienced and knowledgeable people from the sector itself reinforces a view that charities are not important to our economy or to future growth and prosperity. Charities are part of the solution to the challenges Australia faces. Working with you, we want to build on our multifaceted roles and contribute more to ensuring our country is stronger post COVID-19. To fulfill this role, we need to be part of the policy formulation that will impact across the communities we serve. We ask that the critical role played by charities and our capacity to make a difference, both economically and in terms of wellbeing, be considered and incorporated into your government’s national policy development and agenda setting. Thank you for considering this request. Yours sincerely Rev Tim Costello AO                          Ms Susan Pascoe Co- Chair, Charities Crisis Cabinet     Co- Chair, Charities Crisis Cabinet