COAG Moves on Major Not for Profit Issues

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has moved on a number of major issues affecting the Not for Profit sector in the areas of Sector reform as well as a national approach to mental health care.

In the area of reform, COAG has agreed to the terms of reference, work plan and initial milestones for a new Not for Profit Reform Working Group.

Prime Minister Gillard said in a statement that the working group will develop and recommend options for reform of the sector and help progress the Government’s Not for Profit reform agenda.

In February the Federal Government announced the membership and terms of reference of a new working group to consider the support currently provided through tax concessions to the Not for Profit sector. These included concessions for income tax, fringe benefits tax and goods and services tax, and also deductible gift recipient status.

The COAG also agreed to a National Partnership Agreement to help improve the care and support provided to people living with severe and persistent mental illness and complex care needs.

The Gillard Government told the States it will provide $200 million to help address gaps in state and territory mental health systems.

Under the National Partnership, Victoria will be provided with $37.3 million for four projects: mental health outreach support and care coordination to people experiencing homelessness as a result of enduring mental illness; mental health support for secure tenancies enabling people with severe mental illness to maintain accommodation; psychiatric assessment and planning units; and a mental health hospital admission risk program pilot which will focus on providing short term coordination of mental health services.

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