Submission to the Senate Select Committee into the Political Influence of Donations
13 April 2018
The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council (the Society) is pleased to respond to questions raised by the Senate Select Committee on the regulation of third party organisations with respect to political funding and disclosure.
Indeed, we believe it is timely, as when the Senate Select Committee first began its deliberations, the Society was not a third party under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, but due to an amendment of that Act in September 2017, the Society now appears to be one.
The report of the Senate Select Committee quoted from the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council Submission. The Committee view in the main report was,
“The committee heard almost universal views that the extensive regulatory regime that governs the operation of charities effectively makes any recent legislative proposals under electoral law redundant. The activities charities are able to undertake under the purview of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission are strictly governed and do not allow charities to promote or oppose a political party or candidate. The committee therefore sees no justification for imposing a further regulatory burden on charities.”