Calling all Skeptics. We know that Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network likes to ignore government authorities and likes to claim that she is beyond their jurisdiction. With the recent Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing decision to revoke the AVN’s charity status, forbidding them from collecting donations coming into effect tomorrow (20th). The AVN will not legally be allowed to collect donations from members of the public from tomorrow onwards.
I propose that we keep a close watch on the AVN and if they do not remove their donations page tomorrow we should all send in donations and then immediately report the AVN to the OLGR for unlawful collection of donations. You can email the OLGR here: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s time to put this watchdog to sleep.
Just to clarify: The OLGR's findings do not say that they cannot accept donations but that they can longer fundraise
The Charitable Fundraising Act says
"Part 2 – Fundraising appeals
Division 1 – Offences
9 Conducting unlawful fundraising
(1) A person who conducts a fundraising appeal is guilty of an offence unless the person:
(a) is the holder of an authority authorising the person to conduct the appeal, or
(b) is a member of an organisation, or an employee or agent of a person or organisation, that holds such an authority and is authorised, by the person or organisation that holds the authority, to conduct the appeal, or
(c) is authorised under subsection (3) to conduct the appeal without an authority.
Maximum penalty: $5500.
(2) A person who conducts a fundraising appeal in contravention of any condition attached to an authority authorising the appeal is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: $5500.
(3) The following may conduct a fundraising appeal without being the holder of an authority:
(a) an organisation or person, or one of a class of organisations or persons, authorised by the regulations,
(b) an organisation established by an Act and subject to the control and direction of a Minister,
(c) a member, employee or agent of any organisation or other person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) who is authorised by the organisation or other person to conduct the appeal,
(d) a person who, in accordance with section 11, conducts the appeal in conjunction with the holder of an authority.
10 Participating in unlawful fundraising
A person who participates in a fundraising appeal which the person knows, or could reasonably be expected to know, is being conducted unlawfully is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: $5500
In S5 (3) it says The following do not, however, constitute a fundraising appeal for the purposes of this Act:
(a) a request for, or the receipt of, an amount required in good faith as the fee for renewal of membership of an organisation,
(b) an appeal by an organisation to (or the receipt of money or a benefit from) members of the organisation,………
I should have added that I have it on good authority that OLGR will be pleased to receive hard evidence of breaches of the Act. Also in S31 (2) The revocation of an authority is not stayed by lodgment of an appeal against the revocation.
Ok, let me just get my burying shovel.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression she could still fundraise, she just couldn't fundraise as a charity, make any charitable status claims and any donations made were no longer tax deductable?
To the best of my current understanding of this situation. The AVN is only allowed to collect donations from it's "members" and not the general public. You could argue about what constitutes membership and I'm sure Meryl will try any work around she can think of.
I'll try for a $5 (smallest I could find) donation tomorrow and see if they even accept it.