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A referendum disclosure scheme has been introduced through changes to the Commonwealth Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984.

The changes to the Act will only affect your charity if it is campaigning, receiving donations or making donations on referendum matters and the amount is $15,200 or more. This will apply to the upcoming referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Referendum matters are matters communicated to influence the way people vote in a referendum.

The Australian Electoral Commission oversees this change, and has published guidance on its website about the referendum disclosure scheme.

Charity governing bodies and their Responsible People should take care to comply with Australian electoral laws, and should refer to the AEC’s guidance if they expect to spend $15,200 or more on referendum matters.

The ACNC will provide links on the Charity Register to the AEC’s Transparency Register of disclosures made under the referendum disclosure scheme.

The changes will have no effect on what registered charities are required to submit to the ACNC.

Read more on the AEC website.