9 February 2005



·       Public Concern Over Amounts Actually Raised From Charity Events for Charity Prompts Legislative Reform


Organisers of charity events will be required to publicly disclose the proportion of the ticket price that is going to the nominated charity under legislation proposed by No Pokies MLC Nick Xenophon.

Mr Xenophon said “growing public concern” over the amount actually going to charities from events such as the current Cherie Blair tour organised by Markson Sparks has prompted the move.

Under Section 7 of the Collections for Charitable Purposes Act 1939 there is a ‘Restriction on holding certain entertainments’ with the Act specifying that:  

7 (1) No person shall conduct any entertainment to which any charge for admission is made in any case where it is held out that any part of the proceeds of the entertainment are to be devoted (either wholly or partly) for any charitable purpose unless he is-  

(a)    the holder of a section 7 licence under this Act; or  

(b)    a member of the committee or other governing body of a society, body, or association which is the holder of a section 7 licence under this Act and who is authorised by such licensee; or  

(c)    authorised so to do by a person, society, body, or association which holds a section 7 licence under this Act,  

and except in accordance with such licence and authority.

The Act under Section 7 (2) also makes it an offence (punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000) for any person selling or attempting to sell tickets without such a licence.

Under Section 12 of the Act which provides for ‘Conditions of licence, etc.’ the Minister responsible for the legislation (the Minister for Gambling) has specific powers:

12 (2)       “A licence may be issued subject to any condition fixed by the Minister limiting the proportion of the proceeds of collections and entertainments which may be applied as remuneration to collectors or other persons concerned in the collections or entertainments and may be issued subject to any other conditions of any kind fixed by the Minister.

Under Section 12 (4) the Minister may exercise his power to revoke the licence on grounds including:

12 (4)(b)  "that excessive commission or remuneration has been, or is to be, paid to any person in respect of the collection of donations in pursuance of the licence out of the proceeds of the collection, or that the proportion of those proceeds that is, or is to be, applied towards charitable purposes is for any other reason inadequate;”

Under Section 15 (1) of the Act ‘Statements to be furnished by licensees’ there is a requirement for licence holders to “keep proper accounts of the receipts and payment of money collected or received by it for charitable purposes and of the receipt and disposal of goods collected or received by it for charitable purposes.”  

Section 15 (2) requires the licence holders to submit a statement to the Minister “setting out the money and goods so collected or received, the manner in which they have been dealt with and such other information as is required by the Minister to be included in the statement.

Mr Xenophon said he would be seeking changes to the legislation that would require any advertisements for such events to provide details of the amount that will be going to the charity (for instance, how much would go to the charity if the event is sold out), and also to require the public disclosure of the statement furnished to the Minister.

Mr Xenophon called on the Minister for Gambling to provide details of the conditions of the licence for the Cherie Blair tour under Section12 of the Act.

 “Australians have shown that they are amongst the most generous people in the world when it comes to giving to charities – particularly in light of the Tsunami and bushfire disasters.  Their generosity of spirit may be open to abuse unless there is complete transparency in the process.  These reforms can only give the public confidence that their dollars are being used with integrity.  It will only further encourage people to donate more to worthy causes.”


                Written and authorised by Nick Xenophon, 653 Lower North East Road, Paradise, SA 5075