Community & Associations Newsletter – Autumn 2020
The following matters have attracted our recent attention:
- Exemption from the requirement to have a whistleblower policy for small not-for-profits;
- New method of on line company registration;
- Evolution of the Religious Discrimination Bill;
- ACNC application process for some DGR entities; and
- Celeste Barber’s Bushfire Fund: implications for charities.
We trust you will enjoy the read.
Carroll & O’Dea Communities and Associations Team
Compulsory Whistleblower Policy
In our last Community & Associations Newsletter (October 2019 edition) we brought attention to the requirement that all public companies, including companies limited by guarantee, must have a whistleblower policy in place by 1 January 2020.
An exemption to the law has been granted to small not-for-profit organisations or charities with an annual revenue of $1 million or less even though they operate using a company limited by guarantee.
Changes to the Application to Register a New Australian Company
Religious Freedom Legislation
A second draft Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 was released on 10 December 2019, with many changes from the first draft.
The draft Bill seeks to replace the traditional method of protecting religious freedom by exemption from anti-discrimination laws, which protect persons from discrimination based on attributes such as age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status. The law allows certain religious bodies to make decisions that conform to their religious beliefs. It aims to safeguard against the threat of discrimination claims in instances where a religious body is acting in accordance with its beliefs.
From 1 July 2020, a number of charities seeking DGR registration will no longer apply to a Federal Government Minister, but will instead apply directly to the ACNC.
Good News – Bushfire Relief
With an intended goal of only $30,000, social media personality, Celeste Barber, raised an incredible $51 million to fight the devastating bushfires across Australia. Despite the astonishing achievement and amazing display of solidarity from generous donors, Celeste soon appreciated that because funds were raised for NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades they could only be applied to its charitable purposes: training of RFS volunteers and supply of vehicles and equipment.