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Feature Article

Righting Wrongs: Victoria takes lead on organisational child abuse legislation

August 2017

On 1 July 2017, a new Part XIII to the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) (the Act) came into force. The changes were made in response to one of the recommendations of the November 2013 Victorian Parliamentary Family and Community Development Committee ‘Betrayal of Trust’ report, issued after its inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations. The new laws make Victoria the first of Australia’s States and Territories to legislate to protect children specifically against all forms of organisational and institutional abuse. The changes are designed to make it more difficult for institutions to deflect responsibility and to deny liability for that child sexual abuse.

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Insights

The distinction between the nature and scale of a charity’s operations is central to consideration of whether and when it may be appropriate to remunerate the board or committee members for their service as ‘responsible persons’.

A one-size-fits-all approach is inappropriate. Each charity must consider its own circumstances in determining whether the remuneration of some or all of its board members is in the best interests of the charity.    Read more →
The Commonwealth Treasury recently released a Discussion Paper titled 'Tax Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Reform Opportunities' and invited submissions in relation to the proposals that were set out in the paper. In this note we have summarised the Treasury proposals, and set out additional Prolegis recommendations that we believe are both necessary and desirable to simplify the DGR registration and governance framework, and to remove administrative burden, cost and complexity in this area.    Read more →
Last week, we saw charities and sector leaders and advisors write an open letter to our Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers imploring them to #fixfundraising. Their letter calls for creation of one uniform fundraising regulatory regime as part of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Prolegis fully supports this proposed reform, whilst also identifying a number of practical and policy issues that will require attention so that no unintended consequences arise for the charity and not for profit sector.    Read more →
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