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Foreign donations bill a wolf in sheep’s clothing

Susie Forster, Ocean Shores.

I’ve recently become an active GetUp! member, and I’m trying to help get the new LNP foreign donations bill withdrawn. Heard of it? It’s a bill that would see community groups and charities in Australia prevented from advocacy work and making any public statements about politics. It makes sure groups can’t speak out about laws or reforms relating the people they help. Democracy? The more you look, the more the line blurs.

If this is relevant to your group, please email me at [email protected] and sign a statement of opposition. Our GetUp! action group will take them to MP Justine Elliot’s office. Last month we met with Justine to deliver 16 statements of opposition from local charities to the bill. She went on to talk about our contact with her and Labor’s opposition to the bill in Parliament – on ya Justine!

The bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It means that any charity, community organisation or civil society organisation could face fines of up to $50,000 per day (!) if they are non-compliant, seeing their financial directors jailed for 10 years, and anyone donating more than $4.80 per week to the charity needing to sign a statutory declaration to prove they are Australian citizens. It doesn’t even stop overseas companies from donating to political parties – all they have to do is be incorporated in Australia, and they can donate as much as they like.

The bill is being hotly debated in the public sphere and still hasn’t been passed.

 


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