The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of David Bradbury

David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 19/06/2013

NO.109

Joint media release with
the Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Social Inclusion

Statutory definition of charity passes House of Representatives

Legislation to introduce a statutory definition of charity passed the House of Representatives yesterday evening.

The Charities Bill 2013 aims to preserve the existing common law definition of charity with some minor variations.

"A statutory definition of charity is a sensible and evidence based reform, which has been recommended by numerous reviews and inquiries over many years," said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

"It will provide more certainty and clarity about the meaning of charity and charitable purpose, and will make the definition easier for our community to understand."

The meaning of charity and charitable purpose has largely been administered on the basis of principles going all the way back to the Statute of Elizabeth of 1601.

"The Coalition voted against the legislation, choosing to ignore the overwhelming evidence backing up this reform and the strong support of stakeholders.

"Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews are still stuck in the 1600s, whilst everybody else has moved on to the 21st Century."

"The legislation has been the subject of extensive consultation, with more than 200 submissions on public consultation papers and draft legislation," said Minister for Social Inclusion, Mark Butler.

"The Government appreciates the extensive and significant contribution of the NFP sector to the development of the definition and thanks all stakeholders for their valuable input."

The Charities Bill 2013 and the Charities (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 will now proceed to the Senate.

19 June 2013