Tracks Scarring the Soul: Arthur-Pieman Poor Track Record Condemns Itself.

Submission responding to the Department of Primary Industries Parks Water and Environment’s Natural Resources Management/Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area/Tasmania/DPIPWE - Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area - off-road vehicle mitigation actions, Referral reference No. 2017/8038.

 

By Peg Putt, CEO

Markets For Change

 

September, 2017.

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SUBMISSION TO THE TREASURY TAX DEDUCTIBLE GIFT RECIPIENT (DGR) REFORM OPPORTUNITIES DISCUSSION PAPER AUGUST 2017

Executive Summary

  • In June this year, the federal government though the Federal Treasury Department released a Discussion Paper reviewing how organisations which have Tax Deductible Gift Recipient status (DGRs, many of which are also charities) are managed.  As acknowledged by the Discussion Paper, DGR tax arrangements are intended to encourage philanthropy and provide support for the Not-For-Profit sector (NFP).  DGR status, along with other tax concessions to the NFP sector also encourages delivery of goods and services that are in the public interest. 
  • Unfortunately, many of the proposals contained in the Discussion Paper will have serious and negative repercussions for a large number of DGRs and charities, particularly environmental organisations, and which undermine those groups’ capacity to encourage philanthropy, secure support and deliver services in the public interest.
  • Significantly, the Treasury DGR Review Discussion Paper fails to identify any proven transgressions by the entities targeted (environmental not-for-profits), to justify this latest push to change the rules for environmental DGRs and charities.

 

  • Alarmingly, emphasis is shifted from assessing an organisation’s purpose, which the High Court has ruled is crucial for determining charitable status and benefit, to an emphasis on their activities. This is extrapolated into a proposed requirement that 25% or 50% of funds should be spent on environmental remediation activities, a proposition which is not backed by any evidence as to its appropriateness or necessity and which would undermine important preventative actions whilst also causing organisations to fail to act in accordance with the purposes for which they were constituted. This proposition is blatantly at the behest of the mining industry lobby and hence part of a politically motivated attack.

 

  • Markets For Change is a registered charity and DGR recipient listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations. We support a diverse environmental sector working across the range of areas that can contribute to improved environmental outcomes. We reject proposals which single out environmental organisations from amongst the range of non-government charities and DGRs, and we do not accept measures clearly designed to limit the effectiveness of environmental not-for-profit organisations.

 

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Background Brief to the 2017 Treasury DGR Discussion Paper: Explaining the Federal Treasury’s Tax Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Reform Opportunities Discussion Paper, and how it may impact on eNGOs, their supporters and donors.

What is it?


In June this year, the federal government though the Federal Treasury Department released a Discussion Paper reviewing how organisations which have Tax Deductible Gift Recipient status (DGRs, many of which are also charities) are managed.  As acknowledged by the Discussion Paper, DGR tax arrangements are intended to encourage philanthropy and provide support for the Not-For-Profit sector (NFP).  DGR status, along with other tax concessions to the NFP sector also encourages delivery of goods and services that are in the public interest.  The initial one month consultation period on the Discussion Paper was belatedly extended from its original July deadline with submissions now due on Friday, 4th of August.

 

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the proposal to log temperate rainforests in Tasmania for ancient rainforest trees Reject carte-blanche rainforest logging plan: Submission to the Tasmanian Special Species Management Plan

Executive Summary and Recommendations:

 

  1. Logging existing reserves is controversial in the extreme, unacceptable in conservation terms, and fraught with danger to Tasmania’s reputation, market access, and also risks undermining consumer confidence.
  1. Logging should be explicitly prohibited in the Tasmanian Reserve Estate. Our irreplaceable Reserve Estate must be protected and conserved for the Tasmanian people and for our future generations. 
  1. All state conservation areas and natural reserves should be given the highest level of legal environmental protection, including National Park status for the Tasmanian Reserve Estate.  All National Parks and Reserve Estate must be adequately resourced to provide for world’s best practice management for their natural and Aboriginal cultural values.
  1. A formal government policy of no logging of rainforests should be adopted.
  1. The incompatibility between the just signed Recovery Plan for the Giant Freshwater Lobster (Astacopsis gouldi), and the draft Special Species Timber Logging Plan, must be acknowledged and resolved by the immediate removal of all Giant Freshwater Lobster habitat from planned logging coupes.
  1. Subsidies for the logging industry, including specialty species timber operators, must cease, including in-kind support such as the provision of access roads.
  1. Re-prioritise and re-focus on developing the Hydrowood program, and establish a formal state Wood Bank, where provenance of salvaged wood is certified, and management and sales are undertaken transparently. 
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