Submission to Productivity Commission: Philanthropy Inquiry Draft Report


We welcome a great many aspects of this draft report. In particular, the recommendations that expand the scope of DGR status will assist local churches that are active in social welfare, as a great many are, to assist more people.

This submission is limited to issues concerning volunteers, and in particular, the importance of local, state and federal governments looking at the regulatory burdens that inhibit organisations from using volunteers, and that may discourage people from volunteering. This follows on our earlier submission in which we urged the Commission to incentivise the use of volunteers.

We must be cautious about regulations or policies that discourage people from volunteering. If we impose upon people unnecessary burdens or subject them inappropriately to serious legal risks as a result of volunteering, we will make it harder to find volunteers, whether in the school canteen, helping out with coaching children and young people’s sports, visiting people in aged care, serving on the boards of not-for-profit organisations or in a myriad other ways. This will be greatly to the detriment of the community.
We offer four examples of the problem of over-regulation.

If this paper has been helpful or thought provoking for you as a christian leader, we would love to hear from you below.

Patrick Parkinson


Professor Patrick Parkinson AM is the Executive Director of Publica and a leading voice in issues related to families.

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