Aussie Farms loses charity status

Aussie Farms loses charity status

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CHARITY LOST: The Aussie Farms website, which shows the addresses of farms across the country.

CHARITY LOST: The Aussie Farms website, which shows the addresses of farms across the country.

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Animal activism group Aussie Farms, which published the addresses of farms across the country on an online map, has lost its charity status.

Aa

Animal activism group Aussie Farms, which published the addresses of farms across the country on an online map, has lost its charity status.

The national charity regulator, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), removed the organisation's Commonwealth charity tax concessions, including income tax exemption, fringe benefits tax rebates and goods and services tax concessions.

The investigation into the charity was completed on November 18 and the decision to revoke charity status took effect immediately.

ACNC commissioner Dr Gary Johns said revocation of charity status was reserved for the most serious of cases.

"Charities must stick to their purpose, and maintain their obligations under the ACNC Act, Charities Act and adhere to Governance Standards."

The investigation took several months as it followed due process.

"Where we decide to take compliance action, the affected charity has rights of review and appeal, including through external forums such as the AAT, and therefore we must also ensure that we follow proper decision-making principles," Dr Johns said.

"We aim to complete investigations as efficiently as possible, whilst ensuring that our processes are robust and fair."

"By revoking the charity registration of Aussie Farms Inc, the organisation is no longer able to access Commonwealth charity tax concessions.

"Revocation of charity status is the most serious action the ACNC can take."

READ MORE: Extreme animal rights activists adding to farmers' stress, says Vallance

Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud welcomed the decision to strip Aussie Farms of its charitable status.

"This is a win for common sense," Mr Littleproud said.

"As Agriculture Minister, I wrote to the Charities Commissioner asking him to review Aussie Farms charitable status.

"Today he acted.

"I also worked with the Attorney-General to bring Aussie Farms under the Privacy Act with a maximum penalty of $2.1 million for breaching the act.

"Charities do not invade people's privacy and encourage illegal behaviour.

"Our farmers deserve respect for putting the best food in the world on our dinner tables.

"These activists put farming families at risk by encouraging large-scale trespass.

"No one wants 50 strangers invading their backyard where their kids play.

"Aussie Farms will lose charity tax benefits after being exposed for what they are - militant activists.

"It's time Aussie Farms came to their senses and took their attack map down.

"We will always stand behind our farmers and farming families who have done nothing wrong."

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