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 28/06/2013

NO.125

A level playing field for ethics education in government schools

The Parliament today passed legislation which will enable eligible providers of ethics education in government schools to receive tax deductible donations.

"Currently, the tax laws contain general categories of deductible gift recipient (DGR) for organisations which provide religious instruction in government schools, but there is no category for providers of ethics education," said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No. 1) Bill 2013 establishes a DGR category in the tax laws for organisations established solely for the purpose of providing ethics education in government schools in Australia in accordance with the relevant State or Territory law, as an alternative to religious instruction.

"The Australian Government wants to support ethics education in government schools through the provision of the DGR tax concession, but making individual organisations jump through hoops to be specifically named in the tax laws is not the right approach.

"The new DGR category provides a simpler and more principled way of providing DGR status to eligible organisations. Under our approach, eligible organisations would make an application to the Australian Taxation Office, rather than having to secure a Parliamentary amendment."

The legislation was passed despite a further attempt by the Coalition to amend the legislation to try to remove the new DGR category. When the Bill was debated in the House of Representatives, the Coalition also tried and failed to make such an amendment.

"The Coalition has been desperately trying to oppose a level playing field for providers of ethics education in government schools."

28 June 2013