There are a number of issues regarding the Draft Charities Bill that are relevant to Indigenous land councils, native title representative bodies (NTRBs), and prescribed bodies corporate (PBCs) and other Indigenous land trusts and entities.
- Section 8 of the Draft Charities Bill may be redundant where it states that political advocacy, where it is more than ancillary or incidental is a disqualifying purpose.
- The wide frame of reference of the charitable purpose ‘for the benefit of the community’ is applicable to Indigenous entities. This flexibility in the definition should not be undermined.
- The dominant purpose provision may require further clarification in order to achieve certainty for Indigenous land councils, NTRB’s, PBC’s and trusts.
- The notion of altruism, if adopted should not preclude entities with a relationship to their beneficiaries.
- To avoid current unworkable and costly confusion, the public benefit test should include an exemption for Indigenous entities or entities servicing Indigenous communities.