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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 2880

Senator SHEIL —My question is directed to the Minister for Finance. Is it a fact that after the introduction of the Australia Card any person who is authorised to sign cheques for any organisation such as the local branch of a political party, a pony club, a football club, such as St George Rugby League Club, a Jaycees club, a corgie club or a geranium club, will be guilty of an offence if that person does not affix his identity number to the transaction? Does this not establish an audit trail that could be an unwanted invasion of personal privacy?

Senator WALSH —It is a fact that following the introduction of the Australia Card it will not be possible for people to indulge in wholesale tax evasion of the type advocated and defended by Mr Wilson Tuckey a couple of weeks ago and about which I spoke yesterday, from which to the best of my knowledge the Leader of the Opposition has yet to dissociate himself. I can only assume that that blanket endorsement of tax evasion put out by Mr Tuckey a couple of weeks ago is accepted by the Liberal Party and endorsed in turn by the Leader of the Opposition.

Whether in some obscure circumstances-I have forgotten what the question was, it was so unimportant. I will get an answer from the Minister. I assure Senator Sheil that when a sufficient number of Opposition senators have defected and voted for the Australia Card to ensure its introduction, it will no longer be possible to engage in wholesale tax evasion of the type recommended by Mr Tuckey a couple of weeks ago.

Senator SHEIL —I ask a supplementary question. I regret that the Minister seems to be suffering from neuronal fall-out. The question was not about tax evasion. It asked whether authorised signatories to cheques for clubs had to affix their ID numbers to their cheques. Is that not an invasion of privacy?

Senator WALSH —I have already said that I will get an answer from Dr Blewett.