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The federal government recently confirmed that it intends to close down the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) and defer the commencement of the Charities Act 2013 (Cth).
The Charities Act, which introduced a statutory definition of charity in Australia, is due to commence on 1 January 2014. However, the government has introduced an amendment that would see the legislation deferred for at least 9 months. The reason given for the deferral is so the government can consult about its plan for reform across the not-for-profit sector, which will include a Centre of Excellence to replace the ACNC.
Acting Director of Not-for-profit Law, Nathan MacDonald recently gave evidence to a Senate Parliamentary Committee about the benefits of a statutory definition of charity for small community organisations. Liz Morgan, Senior Lawyer and Trainer at Not-for-Profit Law, also wrote about the reasons why the ACNC was established and urged the sector and law makers to ask different questions about what ‘effective regulation’ of the sector might look like.