The Government announced in the 2011-12 Budget that it would introduce a statutory definition of charity, applicable across all Commonwealth laws.
In 2011, the Government released a Paper on the definition of charity as part of a consultation process to provide interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the proposed statutory definition of charity. Over 200 submissions were received in 2011.
The Government considered the submissions and developed draft legislation to give effect to the statutory definition.
The exposure draft Charities Bill 2013 and Charities (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013, with explanatory material and a Fact Sheet summarising the key issues, were released for further public consultation from 8 April 2013 to 3 May 2013 and 91 submissions (including 6 confidential submissions) were received.
The Charities Bill 2013 and the Charities (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 were introduced into the Parliament on 29 May 2013. Information about changes made to the legislation in response to stakeholder feedback and input on the draft Bills is in the Assistant Treasurer's media release of 29 May 2013.