OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Reorganizing the legal statutes of charitable associations: the Church’s contribution

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) – The Catholic Church in Australia offered its contribution on the debate taking place in the country over the legal regulation of charitable associations and non-profit organizations. Right now, the matter is being overseen by a special Committee of the Australian Senate, to which the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference has sent their own statement, displaying some of the many activities going on the Catholic world regarding these areas, especially in the area of education and health services. The document indicates some things that should be changes and offers several proposals.
The Bishops’ contribution has been drawn up on the basis of an internal study done among all the Church organizations present on a social level, asking for bureaucratic and fiscal support, especially since the services being carried out reaches where the state is lacking and offers advantages for the entire nation.
The Church is Australia is actively working in the area of education, health, social services, development, and equal opportunity. The Catholic volunteers have observed an increase in poverty in many of Australia’s rural territories, commenting that social exclusion leads to an increase in isolation and criminal activity.
Poverty and exclusion in Australia especially refers to the aboriginal minority. In some areas, 45% of Aborigenes are unemployed. An indigenous family has 20 more chances not having a place to live, than a non-indigenous family. The Catholic organizations, therefore, request honesty and precise interventions in the main areas of education, health services, the family, and the environment. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/9/2008)