On Thursday last week (the last sitting day before the Christmas break), the Senate adjourned debate on the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (which included the amendment to delay the Charities Act) and ran out of time to return to the debate before rising for the holidays.
This means that the Charities Act which includes a definition of charity will commence on 1 January 2014 as planned. This is in contrast to last week when we expected that the commencement of the Charities Act was likely to be delayed. Usefully, David Locke, Assistant Commissioner at Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), has stated that the ACNC intends to put out guidance for the sector regarding the new definition.
Importantly, charities that are already recognised as having a charitable purpose prior to the commencement of the Act will continue to be recognised as charities in accordance with section 12(k) of the Charities Act.