Protect Tax-deductible Donations for Environment Groups

This petition made change with 918 supporters!

The Abbott government is holding a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Register of Environment Organisations that gives tax-deductibility for donors to 600 Australian environment groups.

It appears Abbott will strip tax-deductibility from up to 150 groups by removing them from the Register, ending their capacity to protect, research and educate about the environment. The Tax Act and a High Court decision approve of these activities. Official audits also confirm that green groups are complying with the present fund-raising rules.

Talking with all levels of government, informing politicians and officials of community sentiment on environmental policy and protection is a contested activity. This essential dialogue would cease if groups were dumped off the Register.

Meanwhile, corporations whose activities may harm the environment would still be able to claim their lobbying, policy-making and influence-peddling as tax-deductible business expenses. The Institute for Public Affairs and some political parties advocate that green groups should lose tax-deductibility for gifts but their own tax-deductibility is not being reviewed. Without a community voice, corporate access to decision-makers would be unfettered and unchallenged.

The Register was established over 40 years ago to encourage community support for the environment movement and has been effective. The future of environmental protection depends on your voice being heard now.

Please also make more detailed comments to the Committee of Inquiry by 21 May 2015. The Committee's Terms of Reference are here. Upload your submission here. The government's plan to dump green groups is reported here. Watch a 7.30 Report on some issues here.

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