Categories: government, advocacy, general
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The Assistant Treasurer has released an Exposure Draft of Schedule 1 of the Corporations and Other Legislation Amendment (Trustee Companies and Other Measures) Bill 2011. The draft Bill relates to Chapter 5D of the Corporations Act 2001 which was established through the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Financial Services Modernisation) Act 2009.
The draft Bill is available for public comment for a very short time, owing to the need to introduce it in the Autumn 2011 sittings. Closing date for submissions is Thursday 10 February 2011.
The amendments include:
- the establishment of a mechanism for the voluntary transfer of trustee company business from an existing entity to a licensed trustee company;
- the creation of criteria to be considered by the Minister in considering an application for trustee company listing;
- and changes to the operation of common funds and the drawing down, and imposition, of fees.
You can download the Exposure Draft and Explanatory Memorandum at http://www.treasury.gov.au/contentitem.asp?NavId=037&ContentID=1955
Philanthropy Australia will be providing a short response and welcomes any comment from Members by COB Monday 7 February 2011. Interested parties are also invited to comment on the discussion paper direct to Treasury.
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Congratulations to the following Members who were acknowledged in this year’s Australia Day Honours list:
- Simon McKeon, Macquarie Group and Founding Chairman & Director of MS Research Australia (Australian of the Year)
- Sid Myer, The Myer Foundation (AM)
- Hayden Raysmith, Melbourne Community Foundation (AM)
- Bruce Corlett, The Trust Company (AM)
- Tony Harrington, Australian Charities Fund (AM)
- Malcolm Coutts, Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities (OAM)
- Joy Gillett, Australian Rotary Health (OAM)
- Mark Bethwaite, Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (AM)
Please let us know if we have missed any Members from this list.
Philanthropy Australia also extends congratulations to non-Members and previous Members with great involvement in the sector who were recipients of awards this year, including Robert Smorgon of the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation.
Categories: government, advocacy, general
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Treasury has released a consultation paper, ‘Scoping study for a national not-for-profit regulator’. The paper seeks comment on the goals and scope of national regulation for the not-for-profit, and on the functions and form of a national regulator.
Interested parties are invited to make comment on the paper by Friday, 25 February 2011.
Philanthropy Australia will be making a brief response to the paper and encourages Members and others in the sector, particularly those who expect to have dealings with the proposed national regulator, to respond as well.
Categories: disasters, topical issues, general
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(We will update this post as further information and resources come to hand; last updated 8:30 AM, 16/01/11 with details of FPA and Red Cross services)
75% of Queensland has now been declared a disaster situation and many Australian individuals, as well as companies, trusts and foundations, are eager to help.
- This is still an unfolding disaster, and medium and long term support will be needed to help the affected communities recover. As with the Victorian bushfires, donations and support will still be needed many months and even years after the event.
- The majority of agencies cannot accept donations of goods for flood victims. Many roads are impassable and goods cannot be transported. It is also important that people are able to purchase replacement goods from their local businesses once they are able to reopen, as this will help economic recovery in affected areas. (Edit: Andrew Heslop explains why cash is best)
- Some agencies and funding bodies do not yet have specific flood appeals, or programs in place for relief. Many agencies are waiting until the floodwaters subside so that they can accurately gauge the level and type of help needed.
For those wishing to donate:
- The primary flood appeal is the Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund but please note that as an Item 2 DGR, the Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund is an ineligible recipient for donations from Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) and Public Ancillary Funds (PuAFs).
- PAFs and PuAFs wishing to donate to flood relief may wish to speak to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) which is an item 1 DGR and has experience in providing a post natural disaster grants programs
- The Red Cross does not have a specific flood appeal in place at this time as the Premier of Queensland has already launched the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal for that purpose. Red Cross is on the ground in the affected area and will be assisting with the allocation of funds from the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal. However, donations to the Red Cross under the ‘Disaster Relief and Recovery – Australia’ option will be allocated to Red Cross’ ability to respond to disaster relief and recovery work.
- Agencies are not accepting donations of goods from interstate at this time as delivering them is logistically nearly impossible. You may wish to hold a community sale or other event with your donated goods to raise funds for the affected communities.
For those seeking to volunteer:
- Volunteering Queensland is asking potential volunteers to fill in its online registration form and will notify volunteers as opportunities become available. Volunteers will be greatly needed for the cleanup and recovery process in the coming months.
- The Australian Red Cross is not calling for volunteers at this time as trained and experienced volunteers have already been mobilised, but people who wish to register an interest in future volunteering are encouraged to fill out their online registration form.
For those seeking information:
- Essential information for Brisbane residents from the Brisbane Times, including public transport information, evacuation centres and emergency numbers.
- A new community site, qldfloods.org has been established to share information, news and warnings, including information about evacuations, damage, offers of assistance and missing persons.
- The Red Cross National Registration and Inquiry System is a way for people to register and let friends and family know they are safe.
- #qldfloods is the relevant Twitter hashtag and the Queensland Police Media Unit’s Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/QPSmedia is particularly useful for up-to-the-minute information on road closures, evacuations and other vital information.
- Legal Aid Queensland, the Queensland Law Society, PILCH and others are offering free legal advice for those impacted by the floods.
- The Financial Planning Association of Australia has established a pro bono service offering free financial advice for Queenslanders impacted by the floods. Call 1300 626 393 or visit www.fpa.asn.au
- The ABC is using citizen journalism to create an online map of flood-related events, including road closures, travel hazards and electricity outages.
- The Australian Taxation Office has tax-related information on donating for flood relief.
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has a ‘Donate Wisely’ information page advising how to guard against charity scammers taking advantage of the public’s goodwill
Philanthropy Australia staff and council send our best wishes to everyone affected by the floods, including our Members and Council Members who are in Brisbane and other affected areas. Our thoughts are with you.
Categories: disasters, topical issues
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The ongoing flood disaster in Queensland has affected over 200,000 people and the floods cover an area larger than France and Germany combined. The districts of Longreach, Dalby, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Roma have been declared disaster situations due to the flooding.
Members and others wishing to make tax deductible donations to relief for flood victims can do so via the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal. Donations can also be made in person via a number of outlets including the Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac, ANZ and Coles supermarkets.
The Flood Relief Appeal website also contains information on community services and other types of assistance available for victims, including information on health and safety issues which may arise as a result of the flooding.
Please note that Private Ancillary Funds and Public Ancillary Funds will be unable to donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal, as that fund is a Public Ancillary Fund (item 2 DGR). We suggest that both Private and Public Ancillary Funds wishing to donate to the flood relief contact the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, or contact Philanthropy Australia to discuss options.
The Red Cross, which will be managing the distribution of the donated funds on behalf of the Queensland Government, also has an information page which includes links to their National Registration and Inquiry System, a means for people to let family and friends know they are safe and well during emergencies.
The Australian Taxation Office also has a page of information for those wishing to donate to flood relief at: http://www.ato.gov.au/nonprofit/content.asp?doc=/content/00266679.htm.
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