The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of David Bradbury

David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 29/05/2013

NO.089

Joint media release
with
Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
and
The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Minister for Housing and Homelessness
Minister for Social Inclusion
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

Labor bans gag clauses in future federal contracts

Last night, the Gillard Government's Not-For-Profit Sector Freedom to Advocate Bill 2013 passed the Parliament, banning the use of gag clauses in Federal Government contracts with the not-for-profit sector.

In 2008, Labor removed these clauses which were used by John Howard's Coalition Government to prevent organisations from criticising government policy.

"Gag clauses are a well-worn Liberal Party tactic," Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Senator Penny Wong, said.

"Liberals cut to the bone and then silence organisations who rely on government funding from speaking out."

As a result of this Bill, any clause in Commonwealth agreements that restrict or prevent not-for-profit entities from advocating on Commonwealth law, policy or action will be prohibited.

However, gag clauses are currently in place in Queensland under Liberal Premier Campbell Newman, and, recently, New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell flagged his intention to introduce them into funding agreements with community legal centres.

Minister for Social Inclusion, Mark Butler, said gag clauses limit important advocacy on behalf of the community and those most in need.

"This Government recognises that a strong, independent and innovative not-for-profit sector is essential to building an inclusive community," Mr Butler said.

"Introducing gag clauses shows a complete lack of respect for the independence of the not-for-profit sector."

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury has called on Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews to publicly condemn the use of gag clauses by his Liberal state colleagues.

"Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews should get on the phone to Campbell Newman and Barry O'Farrell and demand they stop their attacks on the not-for-profit sector," Mr Bradbury said.

"Unless they do, it will prove that, deep down, the Coalition still supports gag clauses and will unleash them again if they ever get the chance."

29 May 2013