The ACNC Commissioner, the Hon Dr Gary Johns, has written to the editors of the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and The Weekly Times regarding a recent article about the revocation of Aussie Farms' charity status.
The full letter sent to these news outlets is below.
Letter sent to the editor regarding Aussie Farms
I am writing to correct a number of incorrect assertions made in the article "Scrutiny of farm activists is only what they deserve," published 20/11/2019.
The Australian Charitites and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) does not undertake investigations at the behest of any government or any media outlet.
Anyone can raise a concern about a charity. No matter where a concern originates, we use a standard independent process to review its details and, if necessary, launch an investigation.
I can state emphatically that The Weekly Times has had no role in the ACNC revoking the charity registration of any charity within our regulatory oversight.
Investigations into charity concerns are often complex and can take several months to conclude. Any investigation we undertake must be thorough, comprehensive and consistent with our approach to all investigations.
In fact, as far back as January 2019, I acknowledged public and media concerns about Aussie Farms in a statement.
The assertion that the ACNC only acted in response to a story published by The Weekly Times is simply not true.
The work of the ACNC is guided and constrained by the ACNC Act. And we must stay within the boundaries of the law when registering, assisting and regulating charities.