Farmers across Australia have welcomed a decision by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to revoke the charity status enjoyed by radical organisation Aussie Farms Inc.
The National Farmers’ Federation has led the call for action since Aussie Farms launched an online ‘attack map’ in January this year, revealing the locations of thousands of Australian farms and supply chain businesses.
“The map incorrectly implies that the farms featured are in some way doing something illegal or unethical,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
“This in itself is deeply distressing to those farmers, their families and staff, who work hard to produce food and fibre and who care genuinely for their livestock.
“Many are battling one of the worst droughts in living memory. The last thing they need hanging over their head is the fear of radical extremists invading their home and business, putting at risk their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their animals.”
Mr Mahar said this year the NFF and many other organisations and individuals had lodged formal complaints with the charity regulator, calling for an investigation into the conduct of Aussie Farms and for their charity status to be revoked.
“The NFF believes that the conduct of Aussie Farms is completely inconsistent with the standards required of a registered charity, and should not attract generous tax concessions.
“Aussie Farms is philosophically opposed to the keeping of animals by humans, and its campaigns aim to undermine farming and agriculture in Australia. There is nothing charitable about that.
“The farming sector thanks the ACNC for responding to community concerns and investigating Aussie Farms.
“That investigation has led to the national charity regulator revoking the charity status of Aussie Farms – a compliance action that the Charities Commissioner Gary Johns says is reserved for the most serious of cases.
“This decision is very much welcomed by the NFF and its members,” Mr Mahar said.