The NSWCCL is calling for the disallowance of proposed regulations could that could prevent charities from engaging in important advocacy work.
The regulations would allow the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to deregister an organisation if it “reasonably believes” its members are likely to commit a summary offence.
We echo concerns expressed by many charities that the regulations could empower the regulator to deregister a charity for attending or promoting protests where minor offences are committed without the charity's knowledge or involvement.
Charities have not been alone in expressing concerns over the regulations. Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, chair of a parliamentary committee charged with monitoring how ministers use their powers to issue regulations, recently wrote to the assistant treasure expressing concerns over the impact on the implied freedom of political communication in Australia.
NSWCCL wrote to Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells to thank her for her intervention and encourage her to continue holding the Executive to account over these proposed regulations.
We oppose the regulations because:
- They are not necessary: there are already avenues for any misconduct to be addressed, including through the criminal law.
- The powers conferred by the regulations are too broad.
- The regulations undermine freedom of political communication.
- Human Rights Law Centre's Explainer: ACNC proposed governance standard 3
- Liberal-led committee raises concerns about Morrison government’s charity crackdown The Guardian 17 July '21
- Coalition accused of using charity crackdown to silence dissent The Guardian 28 June '21
- Charities slam government plan to deregister organisations that may commit crimes The Guardian 25 Feb '21