The Hands Off Our Charities alliance will present political representatives with an open letter calling for the abandonment of laws that would silence charities and other non-profits. The letter will be presented at a democracy sausage sizzle at Parliament House, and will be followed by a press conference. The event will feature some of Australia’s largest and best-respected non-profit organisations.
“The right of everyone to raise their voices about the issues they care about is under threat. The Federal Government wants to pass laws that will silence Australians and avoid accountability. But Australia must not slide down the path of Hungary, Russia, Egypt and India in its attempts to stifle civil society," said Amnesty International's Claire Mallinson.
“Our open letter calls on the Government to abandon these laws which will tie charities up in red tape and stifle their voice. Their effects will be to alienate marginalised people from Canberra and drag resources away from services charities provide,” said Marc Purcell of the Australian Council for International Development.
“Essential funds for life-saving medical research, to alleviate poverty, to support Indigenous self-determination, and to protect our forests, rivers and wildlife are now at risk,” said David Crosbie of the Community Council for Australia.
“Restricting advocacy by charities sends a troubling message – our government does not want charities to raise the concerns of the communities and causes they represent. This crackdown on their voices would have a chilling effect on our democracy,” Mr Crosbie said.
Read the Open Letter from the Hands off our Charities alliance: here.