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Feature Article

Electoral disclosure & funding reform: why charities and NFPs should be concerned

January 2018

“Foreign donations ban”, “advocacy gag” and “catastrophic crackdown” have headlined many recent news and opinion pieces about the proposed reforms to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act) under the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill (the Bill). In this piece, we outline why any charity (whether or not registered with the ACNC) or not for profit organisation who engages in advocacy should indeed be concerned about the proposed reforms.

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The Federal Government is required by statute to undertake a review of the ACNC Acts (the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012) after their first five years of operation. Accordingly, on 20 December 2017 the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar MP announced the terms of reference for a review of the ACNC legislative and regulatory framework. This review provides an opportunity for all parties involved and/or interested in the sector to contribute to its the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of its oversight going forward.    Read more →
On 5 December 2017, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, issued a Media Release announcing significant reforms impacting the administration and oversight of organisations with deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. The Media Release appears to be a positive development for charities. It promises an enhanced role for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and has the potential to achieve a reduction in complexity for DGRs.    Read more →
As part of its four-yearly review of all modern awards, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has recently issued a number of significant decisions. These decisions focus particularly on casual and part-time employee entitlements.    Read more →