Nityabodhananda Saraswati, Mullumbimby.
A new bill scheduled to come before parliament in the coming weeks is designed to stifle our ability to donate to charities which act for the environment and to impose crippling regulations on the activities of charities acting in the interest of holding the government to account for its environmental vandalism.
The Bill, also known as the Foreign Donations Bill (or Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform), is set to come before Parliament in the coming weeks. And this Bill could pose the biggest threat yet.
If passed, this Bill could:
- Silence charities that speak out on potential election issues – such as climate change and energy – and enforce complex regulations.
- Impose burdensome administrative paperwork. For example, if you chipped in just $4.80 per week, you would need to complete a statutory declaration to prove you’re an Australian citizen. This would make it near impossible for charities to sustain funding from our community.
- Expose charities to draconian penalties for not complying, including up to 10 years’ imprisonment and civil penalties of up to $210,000.
If we feel this imposition on our freedom of expression and our right to support the work of environmental protection groups is undemocratic please contact your local federal MP so she or he will feel the weight of our collective opinion.