June 2010 - Senate Economics Committee's public inquiry into Senator Xenophon's proposed "public benefit test" amendments to tax laws for the not-for-profit sector (charities)
August 2010 - Then Assistant Treasurer of Australia, Nick Sherry, announced that, if re-elected, the Labor government would put in place a Commission to administer the laws relating to the not-for-profit sector.
The Australian: Charities shake-up on the way
September 2010 - The Committee's report was published and Today Tonight did a program about the report.
28 February 2011 - The government's response to the Committee's report was tabled in the Australian Senate. The report had been published on Parliament House website on 22 February 2011.
The government said they had told the Treasury Dept to do a scoping study for putting in place a national Not For Profit regulator. The public benefit test would be considered as part of the scoping study, which would be delivered in "early 2011".
I went searching for the scoping study last night. To my surprise, I found that the Asst Treasurer, Bill Shorten, had released on 21 January 2011 a "Consultation Paper - Scoping Study for a National Not-For-Profit Regulator".
Even more surprisingly, the Consultation Paper sought submissions by 25 February 2011 (before the government's response was even tabled in the Senate).
I'm in two minds as to how to think about this. On the one hand, it would have been good to have the opportunity to make submissions. On the other, the issues raised in the scoping study are highly technical and encompass issues of corporate law and federal/state jurisdiction. Cult victims are unlikely to have many contributions to make at this stage of the process. Perhaps the process reflects a new asst treasurer keen to get the thing moving. Perhaps it reflects a reality that a lot of consultation with and within the states will be needed in order to get a fully fledged national regulator off the ground and the govt were keen to get that underway. Perhaps none of the above.
Anyway, here's the treasury's page regarding the Consultation Paper: http://www.treasury.gov.au/contentit...ContentID=1934