Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Labor backs bill forcing charities to reveal donors

Labor backs bill forcing charities to reveal donors in deal with government for dropping voter ID laws

The government has rushed through amendments to retrospectively capture charities it doesn’t like, in an effort to silence them

We’re equally disappointed Labor has allowed this process to happen.”

Legal expert says legislation is ‘an effort to silence’ charities the Coalition government ‘doesn’t like’, Paul Karp@Paul_Karp, Guardian, Wed 1 Dec 2021 .Labor has helped pass a bill that will force charities to reveal their donors for all advocacy, after the Coalition agreed to drop its proposal to make voters show identification at the 2022 federal election.

The deal has enraged the charity sector, which believed the Senate crossbench would have helped Labor block both the voter ID and political campaigner bills, but they will now have to declare donors with retrospective effect.

On Wednesday the independent senator, Jacqui Lambie, announced that she would vote against the voter ID bill because there was “no way” the benefits outweighed the risks of discouraging legitimate voters……….

On Wednesday afternoon Labor confirmed to Guardian Australia it had reached a deal with the government to pass a watered down version of the bill because it lacked the numbers to refer it to an inquiry and feared the crossbench could wave it through………..

The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday evening with the Coalition and Labor voting together to defeat unrelated crossbench amendments.

The charities sector is concerned that despite the $250,000 threshold, organisations like the Australian Conservation Foundation, unions, Voices for groups backing independent candidates, and climate groups including Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Farmers for Climate Action will now have to declare their donors.

It is also concerned that the new definition of electoral expenditure will capture issues-based and awareness-raising campaigns that don’t aim to influence voters’ choice.

Senior lawyer at The Human Rights Law Centre Alice Drury told Guardian Australia a coalition of 80 charities was “really disappointed about the whole process this bill has taken”.

“The government has rushed through amendments to retrospectively capture charities it doesn’t like, in an effort to silence them,” she said.

“We’re equally disappointed Labor has allowed this process to happen.”

Drury said the bill has a “discriminatory” impact on charities, which must demonstrate they are non-partisan to maintain their charitable status, which could be imperilled by advocacy spending above the threshold.

“Our major concern with this law is the threshold will act as a spending cap on charities……..

Greens senator, Larissa Waters, said the party was glad to see the back of the voter ID laws but secretly trading one legislative outcome for another is not how democracy is supposed to work”, labelling the deal a “cynical stitch-up between the government and Labor”………..https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/dec/01/labor-to-back-bill-forcing-charities-to-reveal-donors-in-deal-with-government-for-dropping-voter-id-laws

December 2, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics

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