CLOSING THE GAP CHARITY COULD BE CAUGHT BY THE LIBERALS’ WAR ON CHARITIES
Charities remain fearful after Malcolm Turnbull refused to clarify aspects of his government’s poorly written bill which could silence civil society.
In Question Time today, Tanya Plibersek asked:
In his Closing the Gap speech yesterday, the Prime Minister lauded the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, part-funded by US based Atlantic Philanthropies, which aims to produce community leaders who will speak up and push for social change. Can the Prime Minister confirm that his new electoral rules would mean Atlantic Fellows would be defined as a “political campaigner” and would be forced to hand back the US$50 million donation that made their good work possible?
Mr Turnbull’s response?
I reject the assertion in that question completely.
A refusal to answer the question is not good enough.
Mr Turnbull seems not to understand how far his war on charities goes. That’s why dozens of charities - including Red Cross, Fred Hollows Foundation, RESULTS Australia, the Sunrise Project, Welcome to Australia, Save the Children, Caritas and World Vision Australia - have spoken out against it.
Labor supports banning foreign donations to political parties. In February 2017, Bill Shorten moved a private member’s bill to do just that. But stopping foreign political donations should not entail cutting down free speech, as charities and their donors fear.
The Turnbull Government needs to stop ignoring charities and start answering their questions.
WEDNESDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2018