Earlier this week, the Minister for Social Services, Kevin
Andrews reconfirmed his plans to abolish the Australian Charities
and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). At the Disability Services
CEO conference Minister Andrews stated "to benefit civil
society as a whole, the Government has committed to abolishing the
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, with repeal
legislation to be introduced into Parliament next year".
This statement is unsurprising as it reinforces the Coalition
Government's stance to abolish the ACNC.
On Wednesday 4 December, Minister Andrews introduced a late
amendment to the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment
Bill 2013 to delay the commencement of the Charities Act 2013 until
1 September 2014. The Charities Act is currently due to commence on
1 January 2014. The Act provides a statutory definition of charity
and was passed on the penultimate sitting day before Parliament
rose before the election. For more information on the Charities Act
please see our
The Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum noted "[T]he delay
will allow for further consultation on the legislation in the
broader context of the Government's other commitments in
relation to the civil sector." It is not yet clear what the
Government's planned "further consultation" process
will involve. Furthermore, at this stage, other planned reforms for
the sector are unclear.
On Thursday afternoon, Greens Senator Siewert introduced a
motion to refer the Bill to a Committee Inquiry. In fact, the Bill
has been referred to three different Committees. The Committees are
due to report back to the Senate on 12 December, which will be the
last sitting day of the year.
For the moment, the future of the Charities Act is particularly
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