Department of Social Services’ Australia’s Charities and Not-for-profits Consultation Report

We have reported extensively on the proposed abolition of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.  In December 2014, the Department of Social Services released the Australia’s Charities and Not-for-profits Consultation Report, which followed its Options Paper released in July 2014.  The Report consolidates feedback received in face-to-face consultations and written submissions in response to the Options Paper.  The Report states that feedback received during the consultation process will inform the development of the ACNC replacement arrangements and the drafting of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No.2) Bill (Cth).

To view our previous update, click here.

To view the Report, click here.

Cases

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal considers relevant principles to be applied in considering suspension

On 19 December 2014, in Dr Reid v Medical Council of NSW [2014] NSWCATOD 152, the Civil and Administrative Tribunal lifted the suspension of medical practitioner, Dr Richard Reid.

In overturning Dr Reid’s suspension, the Tribunal outlined several factors which should be considered when applying section 150 of the National Law to suspend a medical practitioner, and highlighted that protection of the health and safety of the public was paramount.  The Tribunal reasoned that it was not necessary for actual harm to be suffered by a person or persons; rather, based on the concept of protection, it was appropriate to consider the potential for harm to a person or persons or the public generally.

The Tribunal went on to consider how to quantify the risk of harm to the public, stating that:

“The protection of the health or safety of any person must extend beyond the risk of harm created by an appropriately trained and competent surgeon undertaking surgery in a manner, and using techniques which are capable of being defended as appropriate in all the circumstances and which is carried out within an appropriate facility.”

The Medical Council of NSW was ordered to pay Dr Reid’s costs.

To view the judgment, click here.

Nitschke suspension upheld

We previously reported on the referral of professional misconduct complaints regarding voluntary euthanasia advocate, Dr Philip Nitschke, to the Northern Territory Professional Review Tribunal.  Dr Nitschke’s registration had previously been suspended by the Medical Board of Australia.  The Tribunal upheld the suspension.  It is reported that Dr Nitschke will appeal to the Supreme Court of Northern Territory.

News

Waubra Foundation stripped of HPC status

On 11 December 2014, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission revoked the registration of the Waurbra Foundation, an anti-wind farm lobby, as a health promotion charity.  The ACNC has reportedly declined to comment on the decision due to ACNC legislation.  However, based on extracts from the show cause notice served on the Foundation, it would appear the decision was based on the Foundation failing to address a particular human disease, thereby failing to meet the requirement that health promotion charities promote the prevention and control of disease in human beings.

The Foundation will reportedly raise the decision with the Senate inquiry into wind farms.  The report is due mid-2015.