« Back to Publications

What are the limits to charities advancing political causes?

Krystian Seibert and Ann O’Connell write in The Conversation (20.1.17) about the recent withdrawing of ‘tax-exempt charity’ status from the Catch the Fire Ministries, highlighting how charities in Australia can be political and can advocate or lobby to further their charitable purposes, but they can’t be party-political.

‘The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission announced this week that Catch the Fire Ministries had lost its charitable status. This means it loses entitlements to various Commonwealth tax concessions and exemptions.

‘Catch the Fire Ministries, which was registered as a charity advancing religion, is based in Melbourne’s outer-east and is led by Danny Nalliah. Nalliah is also the founder of the Rise Up Australia Party; he was its lead Victorian Senate candidate at the past two federal elections.

‘The commission cannot disclose the details of its decision due to secrecy provisions. However, the loss of Catch the Fire’s charitable status appears to be due to its very close links to Rise Up Australia.

‘Examples of this can be seen on Catch the Fire’s website. Posts call on church members to distribute Rise Up Australia’s promotional materials and donate to it. In news reports, Nalliah has admitted there were collections during church services to raise funds for the party.’

The TJRyan Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or material available on this website. The TJRyan Foundation reserves the right to change information or material on this website at any time without notice. Links from this site to external, non-TJRyan Foundation websites should not be construed as implying any relationship with and/or endorsement of the external site or its content by the TJR Foundation, nor any commercial relationship with the owners of any external site. Should any TJRyan research project be funded by an individual or organisation the source of funding will be stated beside the research report. In all other cases contributions are provided on a pro bono basis.
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.