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ray_223
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Yes, a non profit can pay wages.
Any profits though stay with the non profit.

The ATO has a page that has checklists and details about non profits:
http://www.ato.gov.au/nonprofit/content.aspx?doc=/content/24481.htm&mnu=44569&mfp=001/004

I would still consult with a solicitor / lawyer before proceeding because “it sounds like to me” that you really want to start a “for profit” business.

edit:
If the organisation goes really, really well – and grows large and is maybe valued to many 10’s of thousands of dollars – it’s not yours – it’s the non profit itself that owns all of the assets. All you can ever receive is a wage/salary for hours worked.
If you want to start it to better the community then this may be a great idea.
If you want to do it to receive money – it’s a terrible idea.