On Thursday last week (the last sitting day before the Christmas
break), the Senate adjourned debate on the Social Services and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (which included the
amendment to delay the Charities Act) and ran out of time
to return to the debate before rising for the holidays.
This means that the Charities Act which includes a
definition of charity will commence on 1 January 2014 as planned.
This is in contrast to last week when
we expected that the commencement of the Charities Act
was likely to be delayed. Usefully, David Locke, Assistant
Commissioner at Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
(ACNC), has stated that the ACNC intends to put out guidance for
the sector regarding the new definition.
Importantly, charities that are already recognised as having a
charitable purpose prior to the commencement of the Act will
continue to be recognised as charities in accordance with section
12(k) of the Charities Act.
For more information on the Charities Act, please see
It is unclear whether the Government will attempt to amend or
repeal the Charities Act when Parliament resumes in the
New Year; however, any amendments may be difficult to pass as the
Government does not hold the balance of power in the Senate.
Furthermore, the Government's appetite to amend or repeal the
legislation once it commences operation may diminish or be
overshadowed with more immediate or pressing issues.
Future of the ACNC
The Government has continued its rhetoric that it will wind back
the ACNC and will replace some of the ACNC's functions with a
new "Centre for Excellence". It is not clear which agency
or department will perform the other functions of the ACNC (such as
determining charitable status). It is important to note that any
changes to the ACNC in the New Year are not necessarily tied to
amendments to the Charities Act.
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 Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
We discuss whether certain clauses commonly found in ordinary commercial contracts could be considered to be penalties.
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”
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).