Charities (State or Territory Government Entity) Instrument 2023
This submission has been prepared by the Charities and Not-for-Profits Committee of the Law Council of Australia’s Legal Practice Section (the Committee). The Committee welcomes the opportunity to make a submission in relation to the proposed Charities (State or Territory Government Entity) Instrument (the 2023 Instrument).
The Committee is highly supportive of the proposed change in the 2023 Instrument: namely, the removal of the prescribed entity described in current section 3(c) (Office of Profit Entity) of the Charities (Definition of Government Entity) Instrument (2013 Instrument). The Committee is aware of unforeseen and anomalous consequences due to the inclusion of the Office of Profit Entity, and agrees that this prescribed entity should be removed as a priority.
The Committee notes that the 2013 Instrument was introduced without public consultation during a time when government policy was to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). As a result, there has not been a proper opportunity to provide submissions on whether the provisions in the 2013 Instrument, which have been reproduced in the 2023 Instrument, are fit for purpose and consistent with stated policy objectives.
There are concerns about the meaning of ‘government entity’ under both the Legislative Instrument and in the Charities Act 2013 (Cth. Many of these concerns are complex, and require a longer period of consultation than is currently available.
Given the importance of removing the Office of Profit Entity, this broader consultation should not hold up that change.
Read the full submission below.