Government strips AVN of registered charity status
PEOPLE have been warned against making donations to the Bangalow-based Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network, because it is no longer a registered charity.
Formerly called the Australian Vaccination Network, the group has been forced to surrender its "authority to fundraise" under the Charitable Fundraising Act.
Hospitality Minister George Souris said it followed an investigation into its anti-vaccination activities by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.
"OLGR issued a 'show cause' notice to the association requiring it to respond in writing on why its Authority to Fundraise should not be revoked," he said.
"As a result, the association has now surrendered its Authority to Fundraise to OLGR effective immediately."
The investigation by OLGR sourced "expert medical evidence" to challenge claims made on the AVN website about the risks and benefits of vaccination.
"The investigation highlighted a range of potential concerns, including risks arising from the association's anti-vaccination advocacy and the potential for misinformation to influence important health decisions resulting in potentially adverse public health consequences," Mr Souris said.
"As the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network Incorporated does not hold an Authority to Fundraise from OLGR they can no longer fundraise for a charitable purpose."
Fair Trading Minister Stuart Ayres warned members of the public against making donations to this organisation.
"NSW Government agencies will continue to monitor the organisation's activities to ensure it does not fundraise for a charitable purpose," he said.