The attack on environment groups by the Australian government has entered a new phase. They plan to silence us by starving us out.
A Treasury Discussion Paper on Tax Deductible Gift Recipient Reform Opportunities is proposing new requirements that aim to restrict and redirect our activities and tie us up in red tape. This follows the Abbott government’s controversial Inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations targeting tax deductibilty of donations. It was widely condemned as politicised and resulted in dissenting reports, but the government is ploughing on.
They call for submissions. We need your help to keep environmental campaigning alive and functioning. Our Briefing Paper and Submission guide are below, for you to download. The deadline is 4th August 2017.
The proposed new rules affect you as a supporter / donor. The Australian government wants to make it less attractive for you to give to our campaigns to save our environmental treasures, acting on the campaign by the mining industry to silence non-government environment groups. It singles out environment groups for particular scrutiny despite its claims to review the management of all not-for-profits. If we don’t comply we lose the right to tax deductible donations.
They intend to dictate what we work on, hoping to silence criticism. Environment groups must commit between 25 – 50 % of funding into ‘environmental remediation’ works on the ground – or risk loss of tax deductible status.
New, onerous rules about acceptable activities coupled to annual reporting requirements are to ensure eNGOs are not ‘too political’.
How absurd that we are expected to use more of your donations to fix up the legacy of environmental destruction and to do bureaucratic paperwork, thus putting less into stopping destruction happening! Just as bad that it’s too political if we point out the need to act differently!
Can you help by making a submission? All the information you need is in the documents below. Your submission can be short or long, detailing your thoughts on any, or all, of the issues. Send it by email to: DGR@treasury.gov.au