The Australian Senate has supported an Australian Greens motion backing the Red Line Principles drawn up by the ‘Hands Off Our Charities’ alliance.
“These principles provide guidance on how to strike a balance with government proposals around foreign involvement in Australian politics. The Australian Greens have already clearly expressed concerns about the entirety of the Government’s foreign influence legislative agenda.
“It is good to see the Joint Committee Report on the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2017 make recommendations relating to charities. We will be examining these recommendations closely to ensure they are in line with the Red Line Principles put forward by the sector.
“It is significant that with my motion today the Senate has supported the Red Line Principles as they clearly set out practical measures to resolve the standoff over legislation that goes to the heart of how democracy works.
“As it stands at the moment, the legislation would make it much harder for charities to do their good work if they received international philanthropy, this includes work saving the Great Barrier Reef, finding new treatments for incurable diseases and fighting AIDs and malaria in developing countries.
“The Hands Off Our Charities alliance has provided a framework to ensure parliament gets the balance right in allowing charities to do their important work without further near-impossible regulatory burden while recognising concerns over improper influence from big business and foreign entities.
“We can find the balance and the principles outline how to do that, I urge the Government to listen to the will of the Senate and not-for-profit sector and support the Red Line Principles”.