Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Unlawful activity - changes to the governance standards for registered charities

16 days left to have your say
Consultation Type
Exposure Draft

Key Documents

Treasury is seeking submissions on the draft legislative instrument and explanatory materials for changes to governance standard three in the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013 to expand the scope of impermissible activities that registered charities must not engage in or promote others to engage in.

In response to recommendation 20 of the Strengthening for Purpose: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Legislation Review 2018, released on 6 March 2020, the Government committed to explore legislative options to address uncertainty in the law. The amendments will include that, in addition to the current governance standard, registered charities:

  • must not engage in conduct that may be dealt with as a summary offence relating to real property, personal property or persons under an Australian law; and
  • must take reasonable steps to ensure their resources are not used, nor continued to be used, to promote or support any entity to engage in unlawful activities prohibited under the standard.

The purpose of governance standard three is to give the public confidence that a registered charity is governed in a way that is sustainable and consistent with its purposes, and that it protects its assets, reputation and the people it works with. The amendments are intended to ensure that governance standard three is more consistent with the disqualifying purposes set out in the Charities Act 2013.

Please refer to the FAQs for more information.


You can submit responses to this consultation up until 14 March 2021. Interested parties are invited to comment on this consultation.

While submissions may be lodged electronically or by post, electronic lodgement is preferred. For accessibility reasons, please submit responses sent via email in a Word or RTF format. An additional PDF version may also be submitted.

All information (including name and address details) contained in submissions will be made available to the public on the Treasury website unless you indicate that you would like all or part of your submission to remain in confidence. Automatically generated confidentiality statements in emails do not suffice for this purpose. Respondents who would like part of their submission to remain in confidence should provide this information marked as such in a separate attachment.

Legal requirements, such as those imposed by the Freedom of Information Act 1982, may affect the confidentiality of your submission.

View our submission guidelines for further information.

How To Respond



Address written submissions to:

Senior Advisor
Not-For-Profit Unit, Not-for-profits and Tax Administration Branch
Treasury Melbourne
Level 16, 530 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000