Charities Act 2013 to commence on 1 January 2014 after all

Further to the Government’s announcement two weeks ago in its Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 that it would delay the commencement of the Charities Act 2013 (Cth) to 1 September 2014, matters have once again changed and the1 January 2014 start date remains.

This has resulted from the Senate running out of time to debate and vote on the Government’s proposed amendment on the last sitting day of the year, largely because the Government’s proposal was opposed and criticised by other Senate members.

The not-for-profit sector has welcomed the reinstatement of the original introduction date as the commencement of the statutory meaning of charity will instil confidence and certainty for not-for-profit organisations.  As well as offering clarity, the statutory definition will modernise the definition of charitable purpose to cover and protect vital areas such as advocacy, reconciliation, human rights, and the environment.