Review of Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) legislation

Closed 28 Feb 2018

Opened 20 Dec 2017


Note: The Panel reviewing the ACNC legislation has established a separate website,, where submissions and details of consultation opportunities are being published throughout the review.

The not-for-profit sector is large, diverse and makes immensely important contributions to the community.  

Charities have annual revenue of $143 billion, or over 8 per cent of Australia’s GDP.  They employ more than 1.3 million people and engage 3 million Australians in volunteering their time and effort to helping others. This could increase to 6 million volunteers when the broader not for-profit sector is considered. A recent assessment identified approximately 257,000 non-profit organisations operating in Australia.

Australia’s 55,000 registered charities are regulated by the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) under the current not-for-profit regulatory framework. This framework does not extend to other not-for-profits.

Australia is well served by its charities and not-for-profit sector and with close to five years of proportionate government oversight and regulation through the ACNC, the overwhelming majority of Australian charities are considered to be well-governed, operating with sound financial management, and are worthy of the trust and confidence of the Australian community.

The Government is required to undertake a review of the Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission Act 2012 and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012 after their first five years of operation.  This review presents an opportunity to evaluate the performance of the legislative framework, the regulation of the sector and to identify any improvements that can be made.

The Government is committed to making Australia’s not-for-profit sector stronger and recognises the crucial role the ACNC plays in ensuring the sector continues to thrive.

A review panel will be established to conduct the review. Mr Patrick McClure AO will chair the panel joined by Mr Greg Hammond OAM , Ms Su McCluskey, and Dr Matthew Turnour. The panel will be supported by a Secretariat.

The review panel will also conduct roundtables across the country to hear from interested stakeholders.


This review will enable the Government to meet its statutory obligation that a review of theAustralian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012 be undertaken after their first five years of operation.  A report on the review’s findings and recommendations is required to be made to the Government by 31 May 2018. This report will be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of its receipt.


Interested parties are invited to comment on this consultation. You can submit written responses up until 28 February 2018.

While submissions may be lodged electronically or by post, electronic lodgement is preferred. For accessibility reasons, please submit responses sent via email in a Word or RTF format. An additional PDF version may also be submitted.

All information (including name and address details) contained in submissions will be made available to the public on the Treasury website, and on a website established specifically for this review, unless you indicate that you would like all or part of your submission to remain in confidence. Automatically generated confidentiality statements in emails do not suffice for this purpose. Respondents who would like part of their submission to remain in confidence should provide this information marked as such in a separate attachment.

Legal requirements, such as those imposed by the Freedom of Information Act 1982, may affect the confidentiality of your submission.

How to respond


Address written submissions to:

Principal Adviser
Individuals and Indirect Tax Division
The Treasury
Langton Crescent



  • Community organisations
  • Not for profit organisations


  • Charities and not for profit