Australia: Not-For-Profit Newsletter June 2012

Last Updated: 16 June 2012
Article by Patricia Monemvasitis

Privacy Act Reform

The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 was introduced into Federal Parliament on 23 May 2012 and responds to the Australian Law Reform Commission Report (the report can be read here The Bill, if passed, will come into effect nine months after it receives royal assent. The bill can be read here: Significant proposed amendments to the Commonwealth Privacy Act (1988) are as follows:

  • The National Privacy Principles for the private sector and Information Privacy Principles for the public sector will be replaced by the Australian Privacy Principles applicable to both the private and public sector.
  • The private and public sector will have new additional obligations in relation to the collection, use and management of personal information including having clearly expressed up to date privacy policies.
  • Australian private and public entities will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure the overseas recipient of information will not breach the Australian Privacy Principles and will be taken to be responsible if the overseas recipient is in breach. This is particularly relevant in the current climate where entities are taking up data storage facilities involving the storage of their personal information in the "cloud".
  • The powers of the Commissioner will expand with respect to investigations and assessment of privacy law compliance by entities and recognising the resolution of complaints by external dispute resolution schemes.
  • Credit reporting will be governed by improved privacy protections for individuals and the CR Code, specifically dealing with credit reporting, will be introduced.

If the amendments are passed entities will need to take steps to update their privacy policies where necessary so as to comply with the new requirements.
We will keep you informed of the progress of the Privacy Act reforms.
This information is a general guide to the proposed changes and we are happy to discuss with your questions and circumstances.

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Update

Susan Pascoe, the Head of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) Implementation Task Force, has now been formally nominated by the Government for appointment as the inaugural Commissioner of the ACNC.

The latest advice from Treasury is that reforms to the Sector are now to be introduced in stages.

The Commission will commence operating from 1 October, 2012, as anticipated, but its' only role from the start will be to consider applications for new charities, and to operate the portal to which all existing charities' details will have been transferred (from ATO records) on that date. Although it will rely upon endorsements by ACNC, ATO will continue to grant or refuse income tax exemptions and deductible gift recipient endorsements.

The ACNC portal will not be operational until 1 July 2013
The obligation on charities to:

  • implement new governance regimes has been deferred until 1 July 2013, and
  • to lodge financial reports has been deferred 12 months until 1 July 2014.

New exposure drafts on both of these areas are expected: Treasury has indicated that the governance regimes will be principles based, with less expected of smaller organisations: (eg risk management, conflicts of interest, observance of rules and constitutions and board member duties.

Treasury has also indicated that entities will not need to adopt the uniform financial year of 1 July to 30 June, but will be able to continue using their own reporting periods, unless specifically required to change: special purpose accounts may be acceptable in some cases.

The new statutory definition of "charity" is still due to apply from 1 July 2013.

The implementation of universal fund raising legislation is still intended but Treasury is currently considering submissions.

Notwithstanding the work COAG has done to facilitate take up by the States, the uncertainty of whether the States will adopt these measures remains. We understand the Liberal states are resisting the move because they are not willing to hand over their powers.

Notwithstanding these possible constraints, we are actively watching for the next round of legislation, and are ready to put submissions to Treasury where we see our clients' interests vulnerable.

Lifting the corporate veil on Church Property Trusts

David Shoebridge, a Greens member of the NSW Legislative Council, has followed up on his 'Justice for Victims' Bill which was published late last year with a Report on Submissions Received which was published on 28 May 2012.

The Greens in NSW have introduced a Bill to overcome the result of Ellis v Pell which determined that the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney statutory property trust was not liable for the wrongful actions of a priest.

The Bill received 21 submissions, the majority of which were individuals who were supportive of the bill. CLAN (Care Leavers Australia Network), the Australian Lawyers Association and SNAP Australia were the only organisations to make submissions and were also supportive. Apparently no religious organisations made a submission on the bill.

The report makes further recommendations for changes to the 'Justice for Victims' Bill, including a two year postponement of the statute of limitations to invite victims to come forward and a broadening of the scope of the bill to make the Church liable for lay people acting with the authority of the Church.

The report also recommended a state inquiry similar to the one currently underway in Victoria and acknowledged that the bill is single minded, in that there are other institutions outside the Catholic Church who have similar legislative protections which would not be solved by the bill.

While the Bill appears to have support from a concerted few, we understand that it does not have the Liberal's support. It will be interesting to see whether a reform that imposes an obligation on an entity that was not vicariously responsible and strips statutory rights away from charities will stand up to scrutiny in parliamentary debate.

A public forum on the Bill is taking place on 13 June 2012 at NSW Parliament House, more details can be found here

The Good News

The latest must have item for children in Africa will soon be an e-reader! Worldreader, which has already distributed 100,000 e-readers to impoverished areas of Africa, has just been taken on as a 'pro-bono' client of the large PR company SutherlandGold. While the e-readers are undoubtedly going to boost the literacy skills of African children, we can only hope the users have plenty of access to the internet to top up their e-readers with new reads.

Another boon for education in the developing world this week came on the back of the world's least neediest kid, pop-star Justin Bieber, pledging $1 of each ticket sold on his upcoming tour to the 'Pencils of Promise' charity. It is not clear whether special pencils will be provided at his concerts to give to chaperoning parents the opportunity to place them in their ears to drown out the music.

This one only just scrapes into the 'good news' column, depending on which side of the fence you sit on. In Scotland a convicted criminal has had his sentence dropped early after he was ordered to provide 180 hours of community service to Barnardo's. He received a 179 hour discount as the Barnardo's staff deemed him unsuitable to work with children once they discovered he had been charged for repeatedly punching a 15 year old boy in the face. Talk about being under-qualified!

Widening the Anti Discrimination Net

There is a plan by the Commonwealth government to consolidate the various Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws. A discussion paper has been published but there is, as yet, no draft legislation. Some of the observations in the discussion paper have given rise to speculation that consideration may be given to widening the scope of the legislation. There is pressure from some groups seeking to remove the current exemptions that apply to religious bodies and education institutions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Patricia Monemvasitis
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions