Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill - revised Bill is a good demonstration of how public policy can be improved when the concerns of charities are taken seriously
The Community Council for Australia (CCA) was very concerned about how the original Electoral Reform Bill (2017) would impact thousands of charities who would have faced quite complicated new administrative requirements and restrictions if they chose to make any public statements advocating for their cause or their community.
The chilling impact of the new requirements and restrictions would have significantly diminished the public voice of charities in Australia.
Since CCA first raised our concerns about the Bill, the Shadow Minister for Charities Andrew Leigh has been an active advocate for a more sensible approach that would protect issues-based advocacy by charities.
We are pleased that a more reasoned Bill is now being introduced into the Parliament and would like to acknowledge the ALP, Greens, cross-bench Senators and the government who have all now agreed that electoral reform should proceed without significantly restricting the public advocacy of charities that are pursuing their charitable purpose.
The revised Bill is a good demonstration of how public policy can be improved when the concerns of charities are taken seriously. Our democracy is stronger when charities are able to actively represent their causes and ensure the least powerful in our communities are represented.
CCA made submissions and appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. Catch up here.