The Government has introduced the Charities Bill 2013 into the House of Representatives.
UPDATE 28 June 2013: The Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament and is awaiting Royal Assent.
The Bill contains a statutory definition of “charity”.
Charity means an entity:
(a) that is a not-for-profit entity; and
(b) all of the purposes of which are:
(i) charitable purposes that are for the public benefit (see Division 2 of this Part); or
(ii) purposes that are incidental or ancillary to, and in furtherance or in aid of, purposes of the entity covered by subparagraph (i); and
Note 1: In determining the purposes of the entity, have regard to the entity’s governing rules, its activities and any other relevant matter.
Note 2: The requirement in subparagraph (b)(i) that a purpose be for the public benefit does not apply to certain entities (see section 9).
(c) none of the purposes of which are disqualifying purposes (see Division 3) ; and
(d) that is not an individual, a political party or a government entity.
The proposed start date for the statutory definition of charity will be 1 January 2014.