Anglicare Australia is again saying that new rules targeting charities are an attack on democracy, backing calls from a key parliamentary committee to scrap the changes.
The rules mean that charities can be shut down for speaking out, or for taking part in protests.
“This Committee has backed what we have been saying for months – the Government’s new rules attack charities, and democracy, in an unprecedented way,” said Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“The changes will mean that charities could be targeted and shut down for subjective reasons.
“We could be targeted if our Board, staff or volunteers join protests. We could even be shut down if the Commissioner thinks it’s ‘more likely than not’ that we’ll do something wrong.
“These rules are designed to stop organisations like Anglicare Australia from speaking up for our communities by punishing us – and shutting us down based on nothing but suspicions.”
Ms Chambers urged all Senators to vote to scrap the new rules.
“The consequences of these changes are enormous. If we are targeted and shut down, people who need us could be left without help – and without anyone to speak up on their behalf.
“Rules like these would be unthinkable for businesses, but they are the latest in a long line of attacks on charities.
“We thank the Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation, especially Chair Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, for working tirelessly to interrogate the new rules and what they’ll mean for democracy.
“We’re calling on all Senators to vote to scrap these changes and support us in our work – building a better Australia,” said Ms Chambers.
The Committee will move to disallow changes to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulations in the Senate in the coming months.