As investigated and reported by Radio National's The World Today this afternoon, Senator Santo Santoro's idea of what constitutes a 'charity' is a bit looser than the one most of us have.
Sprung owning shares that put him squarely in the centre of a conflict of interest, given his portfolio as Minister for Ageing, Santoro claimed that he had donated the profits to 'charity' after selling shares that he should have been sacked for holding at all. But, as (unlike Senator Ian Campbell) he wasn't getting in the way of any Prime Ministerial attempts to smear the Leader of the Opposition, it hasn't been deemed necessary to remove him.
The 'charity' in question turns out to be something called the Family Council of Queensland, which, far from being a registered charity, is actually a conservative lobby group: a loose affiliation of mainly Christian groups with policies their president describes as 'pro-family' -- a term recognised by people on both sides of the debate as a dog-whistle/euphemism for 'anti-progressive in general and anti-women's rights in particular'.
While the above ABC link quotes the president's examples of 'pro-family' policies as being anti-child abuse and anti-pornography, a look at their website and those of the different organisations that belong shows that other policies include anti-abortion, anti-stem cell research, anti-contraception, and open, hostile anti-feminism. (Though you have to wonder what they think 'feminism' is.)
They have no interest in actually helping people in need; they seem 'pro-family' chiefly in the literal sense of wanting to produce more and bigger families, via the enforced compliance of traditional baby-making machines, also known as "women".
At least one of the bodies that form this Family Council is somewhere on the nutso side of truly barking. The Festival of Light is a member, but the Festival of Light looks sober and rational next to this mob here.
One wonders just how much money Senator Santoro got for his shares, and what the Family Council of Queensland plans to do with it. In the meantime, this sequence of events is being held up as an example of the Ministerial Code of Conduct at work.