Senate debates

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Bill 2012; In Committee

11:25 am

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Finance and Deregulation) Share this | Hansard source

The provisions of the legislation governing obligations, liabilities and offences of incorporated an unincorporated entities have been redrafted, I am advised, consistent with the recommendations of the House of Representatives standing committee inquiry. Criminal liabilities for directors of incorporated charities have been removed completely. The bill also makes clear that, where there is a non-criminal contravention of the bill, the director of an incorporated charity is only liable for any amount payable by the body corporate where this arises from a deliberate act or omission of the director involving dishonesty, gross negligence or recklessness.

I am also advised that the director liability regime in the bill is not onerous when compared with other Commonwealth acts. For example, the bill imposes no personal criminal liability on directors at all, whereas the Corporations Act imposes personal criminal liability in certain situations—for example, breaches of directors duties, which may result in penalties of up to the $220,000 or imprisonment for five years or both. There are also references in the advice I have to similar types of provisions in the tax laws, which are obviously more onerous than the bill before the chamber.


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