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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 597 ..

Thursday, 6 March 2003

The Assembly met at 10.30 am

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Charitable Collections Bill 2003

Mr Wood , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I bring to the Assembly the Charitable Collections Bill 2003. In October 1999, Allen Consulting Group undertook a national competition policy review of the Collections Act 1959. The review made 14 recommendations for legislative reform, 11 of which have been implemented in this bill. Three recommendations were rejected on the basis of drafting rules. For example, in the ACT the minister does not need the power to delegate a function to another person, because that is already covered by the Legislation Act 2001.

The objectives of this bill are to:

promote proper management and administration of collections for charitable purposes;

ensure proper record keeping and auditing of accounts in relation to collections; and

ensure that the public has access to information relating to collections.

A collection is where a person solicits or receives money or other benefits because the activity or enterprise that the person represents includes a charitable purpose. All collections in the ACT will need a licence, whether they are carried out in person or by post, telephone or fax.

A licence must be refused if the collection does not include a charitable purpose or if someone other than from a charity is collecting without the charity's agreement. This is in contrast to the current Collections Act 1959, where a licence may be refused if expenses are unreasonably high or the money is not spent in the ACT.

The bill ensures that collection details are given to potential donors. For example, it will be compulsory for each person taking part in the collection to display a complying identifying tag and display the required information in an approved way. This will allow potential donors to make a decision about the authenticity of the collection and whether they want to contribute.

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