Background

Legislation in New South Wales, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria has already been altered to recognise Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) registration as authorisation to conduct fundraising.

In August 2020, a national consultation about the cross-border recognition model was undertaken through a discussion paper released by an inter-jurisdictional working group led by New South Wales. The model was endorsed by the Council on Federal Financial Relations comprised of the Commonwealth and State Treasurers in December 2020.

Under the deemed registration model, charities registered with the ACNC will be eligible to receive a fundraising authorisation from a participating jurisdiction simply by notifying the state regulator that such an authorisation is required. This will be automated by the ACNC passing on the information to the state regulator.

The Queensland Government has introduced in the last week in May 2022 amendments to the Collections Act 1966 (Qld) (Collections Act) to implement the registration model.

Under the deemed registration model, charities registered with the ACNC will be eligible to receive a fundraising authorisation from a participating jurisdiction simply by notifying the state regulator that such an authorisation is

The ACNC will notify the Queensland Minister that a charity intends to conduct appeals for support in Queensland, and then the name of the charity will be published on the Department’s website.

These charities will be subject to the existing provisions of the Collections Act. This means that sections providing for offences, conduct requirements and reporting all extend to the ‘deemed’ charities.  There will be some exceptions with such charities not being:

  • required to apply to the Minister for the exclusive use of devices (e.g., red poppies, pins and emblems); and
  • required to file a constitution and other documents as this is already part of the ACNC registration requirements.

The Minister has the power to impose additional conditions by giving written notice to such deemed charities and even end their registration on specified grounds.

Certain organisations are excluded from being deemed to have licence, namely:

  • the Council of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research established under the Queensland Institute of Medical Research Act 1945;
  • a foundation established under the Hospital Foundations Act 2018;
  • a local ambulance committee established under the Ambulance Service Act 1991; and
  • parents and citizens associations, and religious denominations. These provisions mirror current exemptions under the Act.

The provisions may well have the effect of altering the number and purposes of charities under Queensland fundraising legislation because of past strict purpose criteria used by the Queensland regulators. This mainly relates to charities with environmental purposes that were often rejected as not having purposes that were defined as charities under the legislation.

Wait, there is more!

The Bill also simplifies fundraising authorisations for charities that are not registered with the ACNC and are thus not eligible for deemed The Bill proposes that charities which apply for registration under the Collections Act will no longer be required to await the conclusion of a 28-day public advertising process.  Objection to a charity registering in Queensland will be removed.

No other jurisdiction had a provision that required advertising of their intention to apply for a fundraising licence.

A member of the public will still be able to apply to have a charity deregistered under existing provisions of the Collections Act.

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