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Law Council of Australia

Legal Practice Section

Voluntary code to improve the transparency of the use of charitable donations during natural disasters

The submission to the Treasury in relation to its Consultation Paper on the proposed voluntary code to improve the transparency of the use of charitable donations during natural disasters (the Transparency Code) was prepared by the Charities and Not for Profits Committee (the Committee) of the Legal Practice Section of the Law Council of Australia. 

Executive Summary

The Committee has had the benefit of reading the submissions of Justice Connect and The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS-QUT) to the Consultation Paper and supports the content of those submissions.

In particular, the Committee commends the extensive background and contextual information (including learnings from past fundraisings for natural disasters) and the commentary on a widely accepted proposal to reform regulation of fundraising.

It is wholesale improvements to the regulation of fundraising (via one set of nationally consistent and streamlined fundraising requirements) which are necessary and would be more effective than piecemeal adjustments in reaction to specific issues only. This is what charities have sought over many years.

As those submissions point out, there are existing codes which address the issue of transparency of the use of charitable donations towards natural disasters and as Justice Connect’s submission point out, the Australian Fundraising Principles have already been developed and await consideration and adoption.

You can read the full submission below.

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