Welcome to our June 2014 not-for-profit law newsletter. As we
rapidly approach the end of this financial year, we report on some
new developments ahead of the new financial year. They include:
The Federal Government's proposed cut to legal aid funding
in its recent budget.
Reform in the manner in which payments will be made for aged
care services by new residents post 1 July 2014.
Updates on mandatory disclosure obligations and new changes in
retirement village contracts for operators.
The ever growing Crowd Funding economy and the impact of
regulatory reform concerning disclosure in Australia and the
Ongoing ACNC issues including the controversial issue –
will the ACNC Act be repealed?
The Hunger Project Case appeal where the decision of the Lower
Court was upheld, confirming that there is no technical requirement
that the level and nature of delivery of charitable relief by an
entity must be hands on, so as to qualify as a Public Benevolent
In our Good News Section, we report on some good and not so good
news for our primary and secondary school communities. Whilst the
recent High Court challenge to Commonwealth Chaplaincy Funding has
been successful with a finding that Federal Chaplaincy funding is
unconstitutional, the Federal Government has expressed its
commitment to the continuation of Chaplaincy Funding for
We hope you enjoy our newsletter and wish you all the best in
closing off for this financial year and in the new financial
The Carroll & O'Dea Not-for-profit
FEDERAL BUDGET 2014 AND FUNDING CUTS TO LEGAL AID
The Federal Government has announced that it will be reducing
Commonwealth funding for Legal Aid nationally by up to $15 million
in its most recent budget. The funding changes come at an untimely
moment following the Productivity Commission's inquiry into
Access to Justice Arrangements. The proportion of
Commonwealth funding for the Legal Aid Commission will now
represent 35% of its funding following the changes.
A number of peak legal bodies have expressed concern with the
funding changes and their impact on access to justice in
President of the NSW Bar Association, Phillip Boulton SC has
"These cuts will further increase the numbers of
unrepresented litigants coming before our courts. It is well
established that self-represented litigants increase the demand on
time, costs and resources of the court system".
The Law Council of Australia has also expressed its concern
that the reduction of legal aid funding will not only exacerbate
the strain of frontline legal aid staff by imposing more stringent
means tests, but will also result in increased downstream costs for
the economy and society as a whole. Its President, Mr Michael
Colbran QC has called for an increase in the Commonwealth funding,
as well as the readjustment of funding arrangements to reflect a
50-50 split between Federal and State/Territory funding of legal
The funding changes will certainly have an adverse impact on
those less well off to fend for themselves at a time of great need.
The provision of Pro-bono legal assistance by private firms and
solicitors will increasingly be essential to improving access to
justice for disadvantaged clients.
Carroll & O'Dea provides legal assistance on a Pro-bono
basis in accordance with our Pro-bono policy. We welcome all
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