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Australia, draft legislation - "Defining Charity"

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Cherished, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Cherished

    Cherished Silver Meritorious Patron

  2. Cherished

    Cherished Silver Meritorious Patron

  3. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    Well done, Cherished. Thanks for staying on top of this.

    Off the top of my head and as I think aloud on this, a key component in defining a charity must be that it has NO, repeat no, compulsory payment of "donations" or other exchange in kind as a condition of service or of being a recipient of its public benefit.

    This because, by definition, the demand for monies or value in-kind as a condition of being served is not charitable.

    My wording here is rough and as I said, off the top of my head . . . But I urge everyone to to recommend this kind of inclusion in the definition of charity to be used by the authorities.

  4. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    More . . . still thinking.

    Any organization having a schedule of donations or fees to be paid for or before service is granted automatically disqualifies itself of charitable status.

  5. This is NOT OK !!!!

    This is NOT OK !!!! Gold Meritorious Patron

    How would this work for the Opera Society or a museum?
  6. OhMG

    OhMG Patron Meritorious

    It would't.
  7. Purple Rain

    Purple Rain Crusader

    Nof for profit does not necessarily mean something is a charity. The two are different. A museum does not provide charitable services, nor does an opera society.
  8. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    Purple is correct.

    In Oz and in the UK when I was there Museums (most) were government run and free entry . . . in the US the two museums I regularly visit have a "suggested Donation" posted but I do know of one offended individual who refused to pay (a frustrated artist Scn type) and entered without payment.

    The way one handles this, if one thinks it through, is by noting the distinction between non-profit performance and exhibition societies/association and charities . . . to be noted is the fact that the request for input is on the point of charities that perform services of a public benefit.

    Law is a rather specific subject, so specific the mis-reading/misunderstanding the use of a coma cost Rogers Cable Systems in Canada a couple of $million a few years ago.

    In the writing of the law defining a charity one would have a "section" that would make the distinction between organizations that requests a suggested or requested donation for an attendance to a performance or exhibition (such as musical societies and museums) and those charitable organizations who perform services for or on demanded fixed fee schedule basis.

    That shouldn't be too hard to understand, no?

    But then, again, this is Oz we are talking about, not the USA scene.

  9. FinallyMe

    FinallyMe Silver Meritorious Patron

    Not to derail here but I think I'm AMAZED -- does Australia actually go directly to the public for input on stuff like this???????? Not to "representatives"? If that's true, I think I'll move to Australia!
  10. Purple Rain

    Purple Rain Crusader

    Here is a bit more from the government website:

    I am actually pretty concerned about the religious category. A "religion" is not necessarily a charity at all - see Scientology which the High Court stupidly considered to be a religion. It seems to me that they could easily argue they are "advancing religion". Damn the stranglehold religion has over society. Why do they get special treatment over any other system of beliefs that might be non-religious?

    It should not be what a religion is but what a religion does to serve others that counts.

    I'm going to put in a submission saying so, even if it's only a paragraph.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  11. Purple Rain

    Purple Rain Crusader

    Oh yes. I've made lots of submissions. Some are basically just quick and dirty emails, whilst others I have worked on with groups of friends such as for issues around education of our kids with disabilities. I have been really upset about things like the coal seam gas mining, though. I guess most of the things I've made submissions about have been environmental lately. Either that or I have just sent an email to the minister or my political representative.
  12. Lermanet_com

    Lermanet_com Gold Meritorious Patron

    if self were a charity then $cn would be one.
  13. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    Actually, Oz is GREAT! As a citizen you can have as much say and input to government as you are willing to be active.

    It actually has a proud, now rather forgotten, history of direct participation in governance by the people for the people. There was a time, in Queensland, where the voters/electorate would put their representatives standing for office under direct written (contractual) instruction on what they wanted representation on as part of the promise upon which votes were sought. This back in the 1930's.

    This all is written up in a wonderful book titled: The Money Power versus Democracy by a rather brilliant Ozzie political/economics historian named Eric Butler.

    The US has a "consultative period process" in which input from "interested parties" is sought . . . umm, but the only way you get to know WTF is if you plug yourself into the system . . . . and then the public tends to get ignored when the "rules" by which the new laws are implemented are ostensibly written by the "executive branch" of government . . . but actually more often than not by industry lobysts!! :grouch:

    But remember when we had the bunch of ESMBers appearing before the Senate Committee downnuda putting them straight? :happydance:

    None of the behind doors trick the Yanks pull.

  14. Purple Rain

    Purple Rain Crusader

    Oh, ok. Here we go:

    What this all means I do not know for sure, but it seems reassuring. I'm just going to trust that Nick Xenophon et al know what they are doing!

  15. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    Purple . . . thanks for all these citation and excerpts of the work in progress. This gives us what we can work with to give good and reasoned input to for further inclusions.

    Based on what you've posted, I see the boys (and girls) putting this thing together are really giving sensible and complete thought to closing the kinds of loopholes any evil cult like you-know-who would try and climb through.

    I still like my idea that any organization that insists upon and demands payment upfront for services based on a fixed schedule of payments . . . whether labelled "donations" or not is not operating in the spirit of nor within the common understanding of the term charity or charitable; and this notion is good and proper to be included in the legislation.

  16. Purple Rain

    Purple Rain Crusader


    I still like your idea too. But hopefully the good people up on the hill have it covered. Cherished will probably give us more information when she checks on the thread.
  17. mnql1

    mnql1 Patron Meritorious

    Senator Xenophon's speech in support of the Charities Bill 2013

    Australia's Charities Bill 2013 was passed on June 27, 2013. Below is a video of the brief speech by Senator Nick Xenophon during the second reading.

    A transcript of the speech is available on the Senate website, in Hansard for June 27, 2013, and on Senator Xenophon's website.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  18. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Wow, thanks! The punchline is at the end, and I love the look on his face. He was going to get that in there! :biggrin:

    Heard of a scientologist complaining his accountant was saying he couldn't claim his scientology donations ... "But it is a charity!" he wailed ....

    I hope there is a huge wake-up soon.
  19. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Re: Senator Xenophon's speech in support of the Charities Bill 2013

    So, how have they defined a charity, and have they included transparency of their financial affairs? I know those were important points when they were asking for feedback on the bill. Mimsey
  20. Jump

    Jump Operating teatime

    Re: Senator Xenophon's speech in support of the Charities Bill 2013

    As I understand it, a yearly financial statement has to be posted on the public Charities Commission website.