Calls for ‘attack map’ removal after charity status revoked

Zach RelphCountryman
A screenshot of the amount of farms listed in the greater South West of the state.
Camera IconA screenshot of the amount of farms listed in the greater South West of the state. Credit: Aussie Farms Inc (map.aussiefarms.org.au)

Calls are amplifying for Aussie Farms to take down the infamous online “attack map”, which publishes farming businesses’ locations and contact details, after the animal rights group was stripped of its charity status.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has revoked Aussie Farms’ charity status after an investigation.

Under the decision, Aussie Farms will no longer be entitled to Federal charity tax concessions, including income tax exemption, fringe benefits tax rebates and goods and services tax concessions.

The organisation’s map spread fear among farmers who were concerned their homes and businesses would be targeted by animal activists after the website, Aussie Farms Repository, was launched in January.

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Hillcroft Farms co-owner Dawson Bradford, whose family-owned sheep-pig enterprise 32km north-west of Narrogin is among the many properties listed, said it was pleasing Aussie Farms’ charity status had been revoked.

“No good has come from this map, it is purely for mischievous reasons — it isn’t going to improve animal welfare,” he said.

“We aren’t going to be held to ransom at gunpoint by these organisations.”

Federal Drought Minister David Littleproud described the ruling as “a win for common sense”.

Federal Drought Minister David Littleproud.
Camera IconFederal Drought Minister David Littleproud. Credit: TheWest

The former Federal agriculture minister wrote to ACNC commissioner Gary Johns earlier this year, asking for Aussie Farms’ charitable status to be reviewed.

Mr Littleproud, who will be in Meekatharra and Kalgoorlie-Boulder today, praised the decision while ratcheting up calls for the online map to be removed.

“Charities do not invade people’s privacy and encourage illegal behaviour . . . our farmers deserve respect for putting the best food in the world on our dinner tables,” he said. “These activists put farming families at risk by encouraging large-scale trespass.”

Dr Johns said stripping Aussie Farms of its charity status was “the most serious action” ACNC could take.

“Charities must stick to their purpose, and maintain their bligations under the ACNC Act, Charities Act and adhere to governance standards,” he said.

“Revocation of charity status is the most serious action the ACNC can take.”

ACNC’s investigation findings will remain confidential due to secrecy provisions in the regulator’s governing Act.

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