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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3307..


MR CORNWELL (11.44): I will be very brief. This is a minor amendment to the Charitable Collections Act that removes the need for a charity to establish a trust bank account and cuts the requirement back to a simple bank account. The opposition has no objection to this legislation and we will be supporting it.

MS TUCKER (11.45): The Greens will also be supporting this bill, which amends the Charitable Collections Act so that money raised by licensed collectors only needs to be deposited into a specific bank account operated by the signatures of at least two people. At present legislation requires collections to be deposited into a trust bank account that in some instances requires a deed of trust, which is a more cumbersome and arguably unnecessary procedure.

This amendment brings the act into line with arrangements in Victoria and New South Wales. In the context of charitable collections, it probably makes good sense to have similar interstate provisions for the collection and accounting of funds. Members might recall that there was some concern and distress when this act was first proposed. There was quite an exercise in drafting and negotiating regulations in order to ensure that small organisations such as pre-schools and parents and citizens associations were not caught up in a regime that was directed at major fundraising institutions. I have not heard from any of those smaller groups in regards to the impact of this act since it came into force last year. I trust, in this context, that no news is good news. If the minister has any information on the matter, I would be interested to hear it.

MS DUNDAS (11.46): The Democrats will also be supporting this bill. It is a simple piece of legislation. It makes it clear that a charity can use any bank account for the purposes of section 45 of this act, so long as it has more than one signatory for authorising withdrawals from that account. I point out that this is exactly the type of problem that was foreshadowed during debate on this act when it came before the Assembly two years ago. I raised the issue that the government was rushing the legislation through the Assembly without proper consultation with the not-for-profit sector, and that pushing through the changes without proper scrutiny would lead to problems. This is exactly the situation we have found ourselves in. This bill should serve as a reminder to government that ramming legislation through this Assembly results in poor administration that leads to future problems with laws.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Arts and Heritage, and Acting Minister for Health) (11.47), in reply: I thank members for their support. It is a pretty simple and technical bill. I have no information of the sort that Ms Tucker is interested in. The act is now widely accepted, and a simple adjustment keeps everybody happy. I thank you for your support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.


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