Country Idealist Profiles

Legal Framework for Third Sector

Laws of Incorporation:

Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations can apply to be incorporated with ORIC under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). The laws about incorporation under the CATSI Act were written to meet their needs.


One of the central features of a corporation registered under the CATSI Act is that it is incorporated, which means that it is a distinct legal entity. That legal entity is created when the Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations processes an application by a group wishing to become incorporated and registers the corporation name on the Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.


Northern Territory Associations Act 2003
Organisations are incorporated and are listed on the Northern Territory Associations Registry.


Corporations Act 2001
Organisations are incorporated, with registration managed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).


Other Related Laws/Acts:
NSW Land Tax Management Act
The NSW Land Tax Management Act exempts Aboriginal Land Councils (NSW, Regional and Local) constituted under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act from land tax. Given that the NSW land rights scheme is funded from land tax, it would have been illogical to impose the tax on an intended beneficiary of it. An alternative way of gaining exemption is for Aboriginal organisations to be recognised by individual tax collection agencies as a public charity or public benevolent institution. Despite the narrow definition of public benevolent institution, a large number of Aboriginal welfare bodies would qualify under this classification; while it is reasonable to expect that virtually all Aboriginal welfare bodies applying would be exempted under the broad charity definition. 


Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
The Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 provided an exemption from income tax for non‑profit bodies established for community service purposes.  The intention of this amendment was ‘to create a category of exemption for community bodies whose activities are not accepted as being charitable…but which, nevertheless, conduct activities of benefit to the community’.



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