This article appeared in The Guardian on January 11 ,2018.
Australian Conservation Foundation and St Vincent de Paul Society are part of coalition of charities formed to fight restrictions on political advocacy.
Charities including the Australian Conservation Foundation and the St Vincent de Paul Society have warned that they will face a huge red tape burden that will strangle their advocacy under new proposed foreign donation laws.
That’s because the government’s proposed bill to ban foreign donations and tackle foreign interference in Australian politics extends to “political campaigners” – including charities who conduct advocacy.
Charities, organised in a coalition against the laws by the Australian Council for International Development, are preparing a campaign against the electoral funding and disclosure reform bill which was introduced to parliament in the last sitting week of December.
St Vincent de Paul has warned that under the proposed changes, all groups who spent $100,000 or more on political activities in the previous four years would have to register as a “political campaigner”.
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