“The reported deal between the Government and the Opposition to pass the political campaigner bill with amendments is a terrible democratic outcome,” said Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute.
“In a bad day for Australian democracy, this deal to pass legislation will only serve to strangle charities with red tape.
“This legislation represents a huge attack on charities, a sector that makes a $129 billion per year contribution to the economy, including the direct employment of over 800,000 people.
“It was a bad process, and a bad outcome. There has been no notice, little public explanation, no sector consultation, and now a bill set to be rammed through the Senate with a guillotine. Today we are seeing the biggest attack on the Australian charity sector the public has never heard of.
“This outcome means the legislation will have faced no Senate inquiry. The irony of legislation that is supposedly aimed at increasing transparency, having no transparency itself seems to have been completely lost on the Government and Opposition.
“This change represents an attack on charities, our democracy and the right to advocate for positive change.”