4 October 2018
Mr Tony Cook
Department of Education
30 Mary Street
Brisbane City QLD 4000
Dear Mr Cook,
On 23 September 2018 The Guardian published an article headlined: “School chaplains agency faces tax challenge over $33m in donations”, with an opening paragraph reading: “The largest provider of school chaplains, Scripture Union Queensland, has been the subject of a complaint to the tax office questioning whether it has breached its tax deductibility status to collect $33m in donations.”
The article stated that a secular organisation unrelated to SPE had lodged a complaint with the Australian Taxation Office questioning the legitimacy of SU Qld claiming Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status for donations being specifically directed to public school chaplains via its Schools Ministry Fund.
The Scripture Union Queensland Schools Ministry Fund would appear to be categorised under the Commonwealth Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, Sect 30.25, 2.1.8, which would specifically require the Schools Ministry Fund to be:
“A public fund established and maintained solely for the purpose of providing religious instruction in government schools in Australia.”
Our question on behalf of Queensland state school students, their parents, caregivers, and concerned citizens is:
Does Scripture Union Queensland provide religious instruction in Queensland government schools via its chaplains, chaplaincy services, or other services?
A definitive ‘yes’ / ’no’ response will be appreciated as soon as convenient.
CC: The public of Queensland