Charity Sector Town Hall Meetings

The Australian Government values the expertise and the contributions of the charity sector highly. We know how vital Australian charities are in building stronger, fairer communities that are better places to live.

We hosted town hall meetings with the charity sector last year to share ideas on how we can rebuild community trust and engagement, and to reinforce our commitment to partner with the sector. 

One year in, we are seeking to build on the Government’s partnership with Australian charities and maintain ongoing engagement through our town hall forums.

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Streamlining the Deductible Gift Recipient Registers - Media Release


Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status has been streamlined for organisations applying under four unique DGR registers. This is part of the Government’s commitment to boosting philanthropy and supporting a vibrant charitable sector.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) currently administers 48 of the 52 categories under which an organisation may be eligible for endorsement as a deductible gift recipient. The four deductible gift recipient categories presently administered by Ministers through departmental registers - environmental organisations, harm prevention charities, cultural organisations, and overseas aid organisations - will now benefit from the reforms to transfer administration of these DGR registers to the ATO.

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ABC Sydney Breakfast with James Valentine - Transcript

MONDAY, 26 JUNE 2023

SUBJECTS: Simon Crean; Unfair trading practices

JAMES VALENTINE (HOST): We were talking on Friday about the problems of unsubscribing. And so it's one thing where you might voluntarily subscribe to a streaming service or some kind of delivery service or whatever it might be, and it's going to charge you $10 a month and you decide to unsubscribe. And it's messy, it's awkward, it's all over the place. It's hard to do. It's a whole other thing, and this is what's happening in the US, where Amazon is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission, who are saying, you're signing up people to Prime who haven't even said that they want it. You go and buy something on Amazon and you suddenly find you're subscribed to Prime - subscribed to Prime, their television streaming service. We found people here who'd had this situation, they were subscribed to the US service, which is like $24 a month, and they can't even access it, let alone they didn't want it to start with. So, what can be done about this? And one of the things we discovered was that our laws are not particularly helpful here. Dr Andrew Leigh is Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and joins us this morning to explore this. Andrew Leigh, good morning.


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Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share - Media Release


The Albanese Government is progressing work on its Multinational Tax Integrity package to improve the integrity, transparency, and fairness of the tax system.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023 was introduced this week.

The Bill amends Australia’s thin capitalisation rules to limit the amount of interest expenses that entities can deduct for tax purposes from 1 July 2023. This tax integrity measure is estimated to result in a gain to receipts of $720 million over the 4 years from 2022-23.

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Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023 - Speech

Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023
Second Reading Speech
House of Representatives, 22 June 2023

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023 gives effect to the government's election commitments. These election commitments were announced in April 2022, with specific details announced in the October 2022 budget.

These policies are grounded in the OECD/G20 inclusive framework on base erosion and profit shifting, which began in 2013. Working together within this inclusive framework, over 135 countries and jurisdictions are collaborating on the implementation of measures to tackle tax avoidance, improve the coherence of international tax rules and ensure a more transparent tax environment.

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Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 2) Bill 2023 - Speech

Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 2) Bill 2023
Consideration of Senate Message
House of Representatives, 19 June 2023

These amendments relate to the tax deductibility status for entities in the upcoming referendum debate. It is something of a coincidence that we are speaking on this matter just as that item has passed the parliament. Providing tax-deductible status to organisations participating in public campaigning on the referendum allows the community to support public conversations for and against the Voice to Parliament. As the government has announced, we will not be providing public funding for either the 'yes' or the 'no' case; however, this amendment provides tax-deductible gift recipient status to a 'no' case entity.

For the benefit of the House I'll provide a little background on that. In the May budget, the government made a decision to provide tax-deductible gift recipient status for an organisation campaigning against the Voice to Parliament. There hadn't been any proposals for 'no' case organisations until March 2022, so the budget included the Voice No Case Committee. However, one day before the budget was published, the Voice No Case Committee informed Treasury that it was no longer seeking deductible gift recipient status. It then announced, through media statements, that it had merged with the newly formed entity Australians for Unity and would be the main vehicle campaigning against the Voice. That entity didn't exist until mid-April and only had its charitable status approved last Thursday. Last Friday, the Senate approved amendments which would provide Australians for Unity, the principal vehicle for campaigning for a 'no' case, with tax-deductible gift recipient status that would be backdated to 13 April.

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Restoring a Frank and Fearless Public Service - Speech

Public Service Amendment Bill 2023
House of Representatives, 20 June 2023

One of the pleasures of being appointed an assistant minister in the Albanese government has been to work with the extraordinarily capable public servants in the departments of Treasury and Employment and in organisations such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Every day, Australians interact with the Australian Public Service—a cafe owner calling Services Australia asking for help after their business has been damaged in a flood; a high school student requesting a book so they can work on a research paper and therefore touching base with experts at the National Library; a new parent accessing parental leave payments through myGov; a teenager applying for their first tax file number after getting their first job; a retiree receiving their medical rebates when they see a doctor. And then there's the work, which is so important, occurring behind-the-scenes—CSIRO researchers exploring cutting-edge science, cybersecurity experts keeping Australia safe from the latest attempted cyberattack.

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ABC Canberra Mornings with Adam Shirley - Transcript


SUBJECTS: New research on non-compete clauses in Australia

ADAM SHIRLEY (HOST): Last couple of jobs you've had, where did you work? Public or private sector? And if you were there for a bit, did you learn most of what you now know, the skills you have from the organisation or vice versa? Do you feel you brought the skills and the knowledge that added to them? I ask because not well-known, but pretty prevalent non-compete clauses cover a heck of a lot of people in this town and in others and they could well restrict what you can and can't do if you are an independent worker, self-employed when you've previously used those skills with another employer. Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, wants further attention on this. He's also the Federal Member for Fenner and he’s with us this morning. Dr Leigh, good morning to you.


SHIRLEY: Yeah. What struck me about this is many people might not understand just how common non-compete clauses are. In very basic terms, how do they affect a lot of people in Canberra?

LEIGH: Well, a non-compete clause prevents you from quickly moving to another employer. Their original rationale was to allow employers to protect trade secrets or client relationships. But increasingly, many economists take the view that they're being used by employers to reduce workers’ bargaining power and that non-compete clauses, by making it harder to switch jobs, might be reducing wage growth and dampening down productivity growth. Job switching is one of the best ways in which people get wage gains over a career. If you look at someone's career, the biggest jumps in pay tend to be when someone moves from one employer to another. So, anything that makes that harder potentially then dampens down wages and might be a factor in the sluggish wage growth we've seen over the last decade.

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Using Markets to Save the Environment - Speech

Nature Repair Market Bill 2023
Nature Repair Market (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2023
House of Representatives, 19 June 2023

In 1984 EO Wilson popularised the notion of biophilia, what he called 'the urge to affiliate with other forms of life'. His 1984 book was a bestseller and reminds us that many of us are at our best when we're in nature. I tend to start the day with a run. At first, I did it mostly for exercise purposes but then I realised one of the reasons it's really good for my head is I'm fortunate to live near Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie, so I get to spend time with the kangaroos and the kookaburras and the spiders and the galahs and all the rest. That always seems to set the day up, as it did this morning.

As I run through that area I'll often think about the lessons that I've learned about that part of the world from Tyronne Bell, a Ngunawal man who took the time to take my family and me through parts of the Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie reserves, showing us where the scar trees were, where the traditional areas were and the way in which country has been used for millennia by First Nations people.

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Try it and see - Opinion Piece

Try it and see

The Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2023

Last year, researchers published a study in which ten different job training programs were evaluated through randomised trials – the way medical researchers test new drugs.

For each program, participants were randomly allocated by the toss of a coin. Heads, they received job training. Tails, they were assigned to a control group.

The study found that just one program – YearUp – had a measurable impact on earnings over the medium term.

The good news is that YearUp increased long-term earnings by over US$7,000 per year. But the bad news is that the other nine programs didn’t deliver: perhaps because people didn’t complete the training, maybe because employers didn’t value it, or possibly because they weren’t able to find a suitable job.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.