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4 December 2017

Waubra Foundation - AAT decision

The decision in Waubra Foundation v Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission was handed down by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in Adelaide this afternoon.

The AAT has affirmed the decision of the ACNC that the Foundation was not entitled to be registered as an ‘institution whose principal activity is to promote the prevention or the control of diseases in human beings’ (health promotion charity) or as an ‘entity with a purpose of promoting or protecting human rights’. It should be noted that the Waubra Foundation’s registration with the ACNC as charity with the purpose of advancing health and the purpose of advancing public debate has not been affected by these proceedings.

This is the first decision of the AAT on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) and the Charities Act 2013 (Cth). The ACNC welcomes the Tribunal’s decision, and the greater clarity it provides about the issues that were raised by the application.

The ACNC’s Acting Commissioner, and General Counsel, Murray Baird, said the decision added to the ACNC’s understanding of the concept of a health promotion charity and of the purpose of promoting or protecting human rights.

“We welcome the Tribunal’s decision and the clarification that it brings. In clarifying the law, it sharpens the ACNC’s understanding of a health promotion charity, and assists our decision-making” Mr Baird said.

“The ACNC places great importance on sound judgement and decisions and will use this case to guide considerations about future charity applications.”

For more on the case, and the AAT decision, refer to the Australasian Legal Information Institute (Austlii) website.

More information about the charity subtype of ‘health promotion charity’ can be found at acnc.gov.au/HPC, and more information about the subtype of ‘promoting or protecting human rights’ can be found at acnc.gov.au/charitysubtypes.

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