The Bob Brown Foundation has praised Assistant Minister for Charities Andrew Leigh’s commitment to freeing Australian charities from the censorial moves of recent Coalition governments in Canberra.
“This is a democratic move by the new Labor government. The Morrison and Abbott governments were hell-bent on choking charities, but not big business, from speaking out on matters of the environment and social justice. It had a chilling effect and muted charities which had strong community support from challenging government policy,” Bob Brown said today.
“The coercive idea of delisting charities which challenged government or big business was a prime factor in environment groups taking some of their teeth out even as the global plunge into environmental disaster grew. The fact is that Australia and the world have mass extinction and destructive global heating on our hands but the government was saying ‘we will shut you down if you challenge us on these realities’.” Brown said.
“Andrew Leigh is rescuing Australians from the shadow of autocracy by restoring freedom of speech for charities,” he added.
In an interview with The Canberra Times, Dr Leigh also spelt out his drive to put trust back into government and to double "powerful" and "transformative" Australian philanthropy by 2030.