Australian charities and research organisations are calling for further clarity around the Federal Government’s crackdown on foreign interference, saying it could have a catastrophic impact on their work.
The Government said the plan was to create a new offence making it illegal to covertly interfere with Australian politics on behalf of another country, as well as creating a new register for foreign lobbyists, and to ban political donations from overseas.
And although charities say they have been caught in the crossfire, the Government said the laws would not prevent them from receiving and using foreign donations for non-political activities in Australia.
The changes also would not prevent charities from engaging in political activities, as long as the expenditure was raised by Australians.
But Misha Coleman, executive director of Global Health Alliance Melbourne (GLHAM), said the definition of what was “political” was very broad.
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