Anglicare Australia is calling on the Government to rule out introducing rules that target charities. This follows media reports that the changes are set to be introduced in the next sitting period.
“The Government is looking at rules that would attack charities – and democracy – in an unprecedented way,” Executive Director Kasy Chambers said.
“The changes will mean that charities could be targeted and shut down for subjective reasons.
“We could be targeted if our Board, staff or volunteers join protests. We could be held responsible for how other people use our materials. We could even be shut down if the Commissioner thinks it’s ‘more likely than not’ that we’ll do something wrong.
“All of this will make it harder for us to do our work – and throw up more red tape when we’re trying to respond to respond to emergencies and disasters.”
Ms Chambers said the changes are designed to target charities.
“These changes won’t stop illegal activity. There are already rules and laws for that. Instead they are designed to stop charity protest and advocacy,” she said.
“The consequences are enormous. Our Boards could be stood down, we could be publicly threatened with action, and we could even be shut down. That would hurt the people we serve, leaving them without our help – and without anyone to speak up on their behalf.
“Rules like these would be unthinkable for businesses, but they are the latest in a long line of attacks on charities.
“We’re calling on the Government to rule out these changes and support us in our work – building a better Australia.”