Tuesday May 2012

Summary – Uniform national laws changing the legislative requirements for co-operatives have passed the NSW Parliament and have been introduced into every State Parliament.Successful negotiations

On 10 May 2012, New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts welcomed the passage of the new Co-operatives (Adoption of National Laws) Bill 2012.

The new national law scheme introduces a significant reform for the Co-operatives sector as it moves towards uniform legislation regulating Co-operatives within each State and Territory. It aims at empowering co-operatives, cutting costs and reducing red tape.

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Road sign saying "slow down"Summary – The Assistant Treasurer has announced that NFP reforms will be slowed to allow organisations in the sector to transition to the new framework.

The Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury MP, has announced that the Government will slow down or “stage” the introduction of regulatory reform for the charities and Not-For-Profit sector to allow organisations to transition to the new regulatory framework.

The Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) will still commence operations from 1 October 2012.

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Australian notesSummary – The High Court handed down its decision in Commissioner of Taxation v Bargwanna on 29 March 2012 ruling that trust funds in a charitable trust must be applied for the purpose of the charitable trust, and not just “substantially” or “on the whole”.

On 29 March, the High Court handed down its decision in the long running case of Commissioner of Taxation v Bargwanna allowing the appeal by the Commissioner of Taxation.

Mr and Mrs Bargwanna were the trustees of the “Kalos Metron Charitable Trust”.  Between 2003 and 2007, the trustees distributed a total of $293,914.55 to numerous charitable cases.

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Summary – The Assistant Treasurer has issued a further Exposure Draft on proposed legislation restating and standardizing special conditions for tax concession charities including Map of Australiathe “In Australia” conditions.

The Assistant Treasurer has now released a further Exposure Draft of legislation restating and standardising special conditions for tax concession entities and, in particular, refining the “In Australia” special conditions.

Under the current law, tax concession charities and deductible gift recipients have different requirements concerning their obligations to operate “In Australia” to access tax concessions.

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York CathedralSummary – The Supreme Court has handed down a judgment in the case involving the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and two priests who had been the subject of a recommendation from a Church Board that they be defrocked.  The judgment deals with important issues relating to the employment status of priests, the legal status of churches and circumstances in which a court will interfere in the internal workings of a church.

On 27 April 2012 Justice Sackar handed down judgment in the case of Sturt and Anor  v  the Right Reverend Dr Brian Farran, Bishop of Newcastle and Ors.  In these proceedings, Fr Sturt and Fr Lawrence (the priests) sought orders against the Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, the members of the Professional Standards Board (PSB), the members of the Professional Standards Committee of the Diocese of Newcastle (the PSC) and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia.

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