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Thursday, 15 November 2018
Page: 8371

Senator WATERS (Queensland) (16:44): As foreshadowed, I move my second reading amendment:

Omit all words after "That", substitute "the bill be withdrawn because the Senate is of the opinion that:

(a) the bill ignores corporate influence over politics and disproportionately targets the not-for-profit sector, which is an attack on public interest advocacy;

(b) the bill is likely to discourage charities from engaging in issue-based advocacy in furtherance of their charitable purposes, because of uncertainty in the definition of 'electoral matter';

(c) there is no public interest benefit to the proposed added layer of regulation for the charitable sector, because the existing regulatory framework for not-for-profit organisations under the Charities Act 2013 is sufficient to prevent charitable organisations from engaging in partisan political activities; and

(d) the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 should be amended to introduce caps on campaign expenditure by political parties, candidates and associated entities, which are indexed to inflation and subject to periodic review."

The PRESIDENT: The question is that Senator Waters' motion be agreed to.