Silencing Australians: The result of the Federal Government's proposed overseas donations ban
CCA joined a delegation of charity leaders at Parliament House, urging parliamentarians to oppose any legislation that would stifle the voices of Australian charities and restrict overseas philanthropic donations supporting their work.
David Crosbie, CCA; Hugh de Kretser, HRLC and Sally Moyle, CARE Australia answer media questions following the release of a Joint Statement and talk to the importance of advocacy and international philanthropy, and why they should be exempt from any ban on overseas donations.
Media Coverage of charity advocacy on Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill:
.@TimCostello: 'We don't want foreign interference in politics, but this mostly applies to public groups like charities. Vested private, for profit interests, get a leave pass and we - who try to give a blanket to a homeless person - don't. It's ludicrous' https://t.co/OgfVP6oylZ pic.twitter.com/KmlHGAsP0N— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) January 30, 2018
.@WorldVisionAus' @TimCostello: 'Charities are for public benefit and under foreign interference legislation they'll be treated as political parties. These laws go to the lengths of gagging us' MORE: https://t.co/OgfVP6oylZ pic.twitter.com/xZEHCWUXQS— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) January 30, 2018
Cormann: foreign donations ban 'ineffective' if charities exempt, The Guardian, 27 Feb
Excluding charities makes foreign donations ban 'entirely ineffective' says Cormann, Pro Bono News, 27 Feb
Charities good work put at risk by 'inept' Coalition laws, says Labor, The Guardian, 26 Feb
Labor will not support donations laws that 'punish' charities, Shorten says, The Guardian, 25 Feb
Bill Shorten signals fight over charity crackdown, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 Feb
Don't silence our charities: Shorten, SBS, 25 Feb
Foreign donations bill 'likely' to be struck down by High Court, Pro Bono News, 19 Feb
Foreign donor bill 'doomed to fail', The Australian, 17 Feb
Donations ban 'constitutionally invalid', 9 News, 16 Feb
Charity donations 'in jeopardy', The Australian, 14 Feb
Turnbull's 18c on steroids, Gideon Rozner in The Spectator, 10 Feb
Government accused of undermining Australia's charities, Pro Bono News, 8 Feb
Hansard, House of Representatives, 7 Feb. Labor raises 'The Government undermining Australia's charities' as a Matter of Public Importance
Christian Porter flags dilution of foreign influence laws, Australian Financial Review, 6 Feb
Greens lead early attack on donations bill, West Australian, AAP, 5 Feb
Coalition voters don't like charity change, SBS, 5 Feb
Coalition efforts to restrict influence of charities go too far: Toni Hassan, Canberra Times, 5 Feb
Scientists fear criminal penalties under foreign donation ban, Sunday Telegraph, 4 Feb
Religious Freedoms under threat as government targets charities, Eternity News, 2 Feb
Charities unclear and concerned over foreign donations bill, Pro Bono News, 1 Feb
IPA echoes charity sector push to redraft foreign donations bill, Pro Bono News, 30 Jan
Philanthropy, political interference and the law of unintended consequences, Krystian Siebert, Philanthropy Australia on Triple R FM, 29 Jan
IPA joins forces with Get Up! to condemn 'unprecedented and dangerous' donations law, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Jan
Crackdown on donations would destroy activist groups, Get Up! says, The Guardian, 29 Jan
Exclusive: Minerals Council one-third Foreign Owned, The Saturday Paper, 27 Jan
Gary Johns warns that foreign donations bill means red tape for charities, The Australian, 25 Jan
Silencing the Poor, Pro Bono News, 23 Jan
Electoral Disclosure and Funding Reform: an Explainer, Pro Bono News, 23 Jan
Charities urged to have their say on foreign donations bill, Pro Bono News, 22 Jan
Foreign donation and charity law changes ‘likely’ to face high court challenge, The Guardian, 12 Jan
Charities fear donations bill a muzzle, The Australian, 11 Jan
St Vincent de Paul Warns Foreign Donations Will Mute the Voice of Charities, Pro Bono News, 11 Jan
Charities warn Australia’s foreign donation laws will strangle advocacy, The Guardian, 11 Jan
As politicians we must lift our game and respond to the frustrations of Australians, Andrew Giles MP, Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electroal Matters, The Guardian, 2 Jan
Green groups and charities could be collateral damage in Government's foreign donations ban, The Conversation, 6 December
Tim Costello on RN Breakfast, 6 December
Charities and research groups concerned about foreign interference crackdown, ABC Radio, The World Today, 6 December
Foreign Donations Ban Confirms Charities 'Worst Fears', Pro Bono News, 6 December 2017
'Chilling effect': Charities slam foreign donations ban, SMH, The Age, 5 December 2017
Charities and activist groups slam Commonwealth ban on foreign donations, ABC Radio, PM, 5 December 2017
Smothering charities: the plot to keep critics quiet next election, SMH, The Age, 30 November 2017
Charity coaltion hits back over election advocacy restrictions, The Guardian, 27 November 2017
Charities worried about foreign crackdown, The Telegraph and News Ltd, 27 November 2017
Government Called on to Stop the War on Charities, Pro Bono News
Hands Off Our Charities, Add your voice - sign the petition.
SILENCING AUSTRALIANS: THE RESULT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSED DONATIONS BAN
Joint Statement from leading charities released at Parliament House, 27 November
Australian charities are united in opposing the Federal Government's attempt to undermine the benefits many Australians receive from philanthropy and to silence their voices. Among a range of worrying impacts, the proposed legislation would limit funding for life-saving medical research; access to education; the voice and rights of Indigenous Australians; and the ability to sustain and protect our shared natural environment. Unless common sense prevails, legislation targeting foreign donations to political parties will ban charities that receive international philanthropy from being able to advocate for Australians; for those in need in our region; and on global issues which Australians care about. There is a categorical difference between donations to political parties and philanthropy for charitable purposes and it would damage the functioning of our democracy if there is failure to recognise this.
The public is behind charities
The Federal Government’s proposed ban on charities receiving overseas donations is out of step with public opinion. Australians overwhelmingly (76%) support charities having a public voice on issues they were established to address and a majority (55%) believe that imposing restrictions on the ability of charities to advocate would result in a silencing of Australians and undermining our democratic principles.
International philanthropy supports Australian giving
International philanthropy to Australia boosts the impact of domestic giving in alleviating hardship, gives voice to those who may otherwise be ignored, and contributes to a brighter future for many Australians. This is a time in which we should be working together to maximise international philanthropy in Australia, not restrict or ban it.
Advocacy is vital for addressing the causes of social and environmental challenges
Advocacy by charities is often the only way people can be heard and hold politicians to account for decisions that impact their lives. It is a legitimate and legal activity, crucial in tackling the causes of social and environmental challenges, rather than just their symptoms. Advocacy has made Australia a better and fairer place to live. Together, Australian charities call on the parliament to exempt registered charities from this legislation; to preserve international philanthropy for Australia, and; to protect charities’ ability to stand up for the interests of communities and the issues they care about.
View full release and signatories:
Joint Statement - Parliament House, Canberra, 27 November 2017
Why does advocacy by charities and international philanthropy to support advocacy matter?
Case studies from the Pew Charitable Trust and Results Australia