The Australian Christian Lobby said on Tuesday that NSW lagging church COVID-19 restrictions behind pubs, clubs and restaurants failed the ‘pub test’. Late Thursday, the NSW government got back on track by lifting restrictions on worship services, weddings and funerals, ACL spokesman Dan Flynn said.Read more
The freedom to meet and worship is not only a fundamental human right, it is also an essential community service sustaining spiritual, social and mental wellbeing. The Australian Christian Lobby supports Thursday’s call by Lifepoint Church to lift restrictions on worship meetings.Read more
The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on the NSW Government to mirror for all religious gatherings its 1 June 2020 easing of COVID-19 restrictions for pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants. From 1 June, hospitality venues can have up to 50 customers, but religious gatherings and places of worship can only have up to 10 in attendance.Read more
For release: Sunday, January 13, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby said today that any changes to the tax treatment of churches and charities, must acknowledge the diverse nature of the sector and particularly the effect on the charitable activities of smaller churches and organisations caused any increased administrative overheads.
The ACL agreed with the Community Council of Australia’s concern to see that the FBT entitlements not be abused and its desire to see DGR status more easily available over time to all charities.
However it is concerned that due to the administrative overheads of compliance for DGRs, that churches be given the choice of opting into DGR or retaining their basic religious charity status with only income tax exemption, but less overheads.
“At the lower end of the charities sector are thousands of church congregations who channel a large part of the high proportion of giving religious people make nationally,” said Mr Wallace. “While DGR status should be an option, churches must also be able to elect to remain income tax exempt as basic religious charities to simplify the administrative burden for their transfer function and that of their own direct charity work.”
US studies have identified religious giving as providing as much as 75% of donations received by even secular organisations and in Australia religious giving is the highest proportion nationally at one third of total giving. It is estimated that Christians provide a very significant proportion of private giving to overseas aid through churches and Christian organisations.
Friday, August 24, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the introduction of legislation to establish the new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) but is concerned about the impact of some provisions in the bill for churches and other not-for-profit organisations.
Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury introduced draft legislation to establish the ACNC and also to amend special conditions for tax exemption.
The Special Conditions bill will establish a new “in Australia” test, which will require that an organisation must operate principally in Australia to retain tax exempt status. This means that organisations which operate overseas or direct funds to overseas operations risk losing tax exempt status, which in turn means less money going to the world’s poor.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace says that the bill is alarming for charities and not-for-profit organisations.
“There is concern that charitable organisations providing overseas aid may be significantly impacted by this bill,” he said.
“Further, there will be less incentive for businesses or individuals to make charitable donations if they are not tax deductible.”
“Charities and not-for-profits make enormous contributions, not only in Australian society, but where it is most needed in other parts of the world,” he said.
“It is essential that in a wealthy country like Australia, charities can continue to operate efficiently and people are encouraged to give generously to help those in need.”