The Australian charity sector makes an estimated $129 billion contribution to the economy each year, including the direct employment of 840,500 full-time equivalent workers. This is 19 times more employees than coal mining in Australia and is roughly as large and economically important as the retail sector.
The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Political Campaigners) Bill 2021 was rammed through the Parliament without scrutiny and without consultation. It signficantly broadens the definition of 'electoral expenditure', conflating the issue-based advocacy that is the everyday work of many charities with political activity.
The legislation is retrospective and it threatens the legitimacy and ability of charities to fundraise for advocacy.
The laws would make advocacy by many charities more difficult by dramatically increasing their reporting and bookkeeping requirements, limiting access to international donations and blurring the lines of what qualifies as 'electoral expenditure.
Over 80 charities called on the government to scrap the bill because the new laws represent a concerted attack on charities, our democracy, and the right to advocate for positive change.
Don't strangle charities with red tape. Add your name to call for the repeal of the bill.
To the Parliament --
The Federal Government and Opposition have passed legislation that attacks Australian charities and their right to advocate for positive change.
The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Political Campaigners) Bill 2021 was rammed through the parliament without consultation and with no senate inquiry.
The changes apply retrospectively and they will strangle charities in red tape and stifle genuine advocacy, in what amounts to an assault on our democracy.
We, the undersigned, urge Parliament to repeal the legislation.