The ACNC Commissioner, the Hon Dr Gary Johns, has written to Fairfax Media regarding a recent article. The full letter, as sent to Fairfax Media, is below.
Letter to the Editor
I am writing to clarify points made in an article published on 8 May 2019 by Fairfax Media, Labor pledges new fundraising laws and attempt to alienate maligned charities boss.
The ACNC welcomes changes to the regulation of fundraising that would cut red tape for registered charities. One of the ACNC's objects is to 'promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the Australian not-for-profit sector'.
The ACNC continues to work with state and territory charity and fundraising regulators to reduce red tape. Most state and territory governments have implemented significant red tape reduction initiatives in partnership with the ACNC. Both South Australia and the ACT have already reduced red tape for registered charities that fundraise in those jurisdictions. The ACNC publishes an update of red tape reduction progress on our website at acnc.gov.au/redtapereduction.
The Charities Act, which the ACNC administers, sets out a charitable purpose of ‘advancing public debate’. Charities can also promote or oppose a change to any matter of law, policy or practice, as long as this advocacy furthers or aids another charitable purpose, for example advancing education or advancing the natural environment.
And finally, I am pleased to announce that in the coming days, the ACNC will publish its fifth annual Australian Charities Report. This year’s report will be a more reader-friendly and succinct summary of the information we collect from charities in the Annual Information Statement. More in-depth information is also available for those interested. The interactive datacube will be launched alongside the Australian Charities Report 2017, giving researchers access to the same amount of data that has been published each year since the report was launched in 2014. Both the report and datacube will be available on our website, acnc.gov.au.
The Hon Dr Gary Johns