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The ACNC has published an updated Commissioner’s Interpretation Statement (CIS) on Public Benevolent Institutions following extensive consultation with the sector and their professional advisers.

The CIS explains the ACNC’s view of how Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) is defined and how it applies that definition in its consideration of applications for registration with that charity subtype.

The ACNC undertook public consultation which included releasing an exposure draft, taking submissions and holding consultation meetings to canvas proposed amendments.

The updated CIS also takes into consideration the recent decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal about Equality Australia Ltd’s PBI status.

The CIS was independently reviewed by Professor Gino Dal Pont from the University of Tasmania, a specialist in charity law and author of seminal academic text, Charity Law (3rd edition).

Commissioner Sue Woodward AM said, “I appreciated the specialist advice that Professor Dal Pont provided, including after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal’s decision in the Equality Australia case. It was helpful to have this as the final step in what has been a detailed and thorough consultative process on a nuanced and challenging charity subtype.

“We wish to thank everyone for their input and patience during the review period.”

A description of the issues raised in stakeholder submissions and the ACNC's response to them has also been published in a compendium on the ACNC website.

The updated Commissioner's Interpretation Statement: Public Benevolent Institutions applies from 31 August 2023.