Civil Voices
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Politics

Have Your Say: Will You Be Impacted By The Proposed Foreign Donations Bill?


Thursday, 25th January 2018 at 8:55 am
Wendy Williams, Editor
A new short survey has been launched to better understand how charities feel they could be affected by the proposed foreign donations bill.  


Thursday, 25th January 2018
at 8:55 am
Wendy Williams, Editor


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Have Your Say: Will You Be Impacted By The Proposed Foreign Donations Bill?
Thursday, 25th January 2018 at 8:55 am

A new short survey has been launched to better understand how charities feel they could be affected by the proposed foreign donations bill.  

According to the government The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017, which was introduced to the Senate in December, is necessary to block donations by foreign entities attempting to influence Australian electoral outcomes.

The bill proposes a range of reforms including: a registration regime for third party campaigners who incur political expenditure and the establishment of such a register; clarifying the definition of “associated entities”; restrictions on foreign political donations; and limiting public election funding to demonstrated electoral spending.

However the bill has attracted widespread criticism regarding its impact on the ability of charities to undertake and fund their advocacy work, amidst claims it could erode democracy and “have a chilling effect”.

Some community organisations have also argued the new bill imposes significant administrative burden, duplicates reporting requirements and has severe enforcement provisions.

However it remains unclear how many charities are likely to be affected.

With submissions to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters set to close on Thursday, Pro Bono Australia has launched a poll to ask our readers to what extent they feel they could be impacted.

Pro Bono Australia founder and CEO Karen Mahlab AM said under the new law it was possible many of Australia’s charities would be classified as “political campaigners”, which could have a significant impact on the work they did.

“We believe that many charities are unaware of the proposed bill’s impact,” Mahlab said.

“The language of the bill is such that it encompasses a whole array of activities undertaken by charities, that many would currently consider as advocating for positive change, being re-labelled as ‘political expenditure’ and therefore carrying a whole raft of restrictions and obligations not seen before.

“We believe far more charities could be caught up by the legislation than first thought.

“We encourage our readers to spend just two minutes answering this survey so we can once again take the temperature of the sector on an issue of importance to them and try and get a sense of the scale of the ramifications the sector could be facing should the bill go ahead.”

The latest short survey, builds on the recent findings from the Civil Voices report, published by Pro Bono Australia in collaboration with the Human Rights Law Centre, that found charities in Australia were self-silencing.

Take the two-minute survey here.

If you are unsure what the proposed changes mean, read our explainer from Prolegis Lawyers principal Seak-King Huang, here.


Wendy Williams  |  Editor |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector.

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

Fantastic digital management app for organisations deliverin...

Ateesa

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

The Politics of Charities Receiving Donations

Contributor

Thursday, 22nd February 2018 at 8:24 am

Foreign Donations Bill ‘Likely’ to be Struck Down by High Court

Wendy Williams

Monday, 19th February 2018 at 4:55 pm

Government Accused of Undermining Australia’s Charities

Wendy Williams

Friday, 9th February 2018 at 3:38 pm

It’s All About The Evidence

David Crosbie

Thursday, 1st February 2018 at 8:45 am

POPULAR

Luke Batty Foundation to Close as Rosie Batty Steps Down

Luke Michael

Monday, 19th February 2018 at 5:37 pm

Calls to Remove ‘Blanket Religious Exemptions’ for Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Friday, 16th February 2018 at 2:35 pm

Sharp Decline in People Accessing Disability Support Pension

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 21st February 2018 at 4:59 pm

Employee-Led Mutual to Deliver NDIS Services in SA

Luke Michael

Monday, 19th February 2018 at 10:54 am

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Civil Voices
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!