This guidance is an overview of fundraising laws and regulations in Western Australia. For more detailed information about fundraising laws and regulations in Western Australia, please consult the relevant regulatory agencies.
Fundraising in Western Australia is regulated by the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
The Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is responsible for regulating organisations undertaking fundraising activities in Western Australia.
Consumer Protection regulates fundraising through the administration of the Charitable Collections Act 1946 (WA). Its website features a list of charities that are licensed to fundraise in Western Australia.
Fundraising law in Western Australia regulates organisations that collect money or goods from the public for a charitable purpose.
It also covers the conduct of any entertainment or function where admission is charged, and all or part of the proceeds go to a charitable purpose. This also includes advertising where all or part of the proceeds of the entertainment or function go to a charitable purpose.
It is important to note that the definition of ‘charitable purpose’ as set out by Consumer Protection may differ from the legal definition of charity the ACNC applies when registering organisations as charities at the federal level.
Consumer Protection's website contains more information about the activities it regulates through the state's fundraising legislation.
In Western Australia, an organisation collecting money or goods from the public for charitable purposes needs to:
- obtain a Charitable Collections Licence, or
- be collecting under the authority of an existing licence holder.
Licences are free of charge.
Consumer Protection issues continuous licences (previously, charities were required to renew their licence every three years). Charities will be issued with a continuous licence at their next renewal date.
Consumer Protection also has a voluntary code of practice for public fundraising. Once an organisation is licensed it can choose to comply with this voluntary code. The code sets guidelines for charitable organisations proposing to fundraise in the community.
The Consumer Protection website contains more details about fundraising licences and the ongoing obligations of fundraisers. Phone enquiries can be made via 1300 304 074.
As part of a streamlined reporting arrangement between the ACNC and Consumer Protection, charities are not required to submit an annual statement or financial reports to Consumer Protection. Instead, they can submit the Annual Information Statement to the ACNC.
To participate in the arrangement, charities must provide their WA fundraising licence number when submitting the Annual Information Statement to the ACNC.
Small charities are not required to audit their financial reports (unless required by their constitution or other regulator). Charities that are medium or large and only fundraising in WA must ensure that the financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all ACNC reporting requirements.
Licensed charities must continue to notify Consumer Protection of any changes to its contact details, Principal Executive Officers and appointed auditors/reviewers (where applicable).
To find out more about annual reporting, visit the Consumer Protection website or call 1300 304 074.
Western Australian Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
The Western Australian Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through authorised gaming.
The department regulates community gaming activities under the Gaming and Wagering Commission Act 1987 (WA). A permit is required to raise funds from gaming activities such as raffles, bingo, lotteries, two-up or Calcuttas.
The Department's website has links to gaming application kits and further information. Telephone enquiries can be made via (08) 6551 4888.