The majority voted in favour of a motion to stop the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Amendment (2021 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2021 from having legal force. In other words, those Regulations will no longer be part of our law. These types of motions are known as disallowance motions.
What do these regulations do?
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Amendment (2021 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2021 should be disallowed as they amount to a prohibition of freedom of political communication and expression and expose charities to the risk of deregistration for actions most Australians accept as a right and in which they may have engaged, such as peaceful protests and sit-ins. Quite simply, the intent of these regulations is to stop charities engaging in lawful advocacy in pursuit of their charitable purpose. Millions of Australians donate, volunteer and are otherwise involved in charities every year. They provide frontline services in the areas of climate change, domestic violence, homelessness, refugee issues and a vast range of other social issues—issues this government doesn't really care about. Charities have raised issues and continue to advocate on issues such as black deaths in custody and the end of gender-based violence.
These regulations would have huge consequences for the ability of charities to speak up and advocate on behalf of the communities they represent and are part of. Further, these regulations impose far harsher penalties on charities for any minor offence than on any other corporate citizen. Charities don't even have to have committed an offence. The Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission only needs to believe they might. If he believes that, they can be deregistered or refused registration. Charities are being held to a higher standard than any other organisation simply because the government is now going to categorise all their activities and advocacy as political activity.
That the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Amendment (2021 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2021, made under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012, be disallowed [F2021L00863].