Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 19 October 1983
Page: 1921


Mr TUCKEY —I ask the Minister for Finance: Does he recall saying at his private Press conference yesterday that the Commissioner of Taxation had been advised of all relevant facts, in a full and true way, of the transaction covering the sale of land under what I have referred to as the Dawkins scheme and which the Minister said is a practice that is not only widespread but apparently condoned by the Taxation Commissioner? Was the Taxation Commissioner told of the details in the documents provided to members of Coomel Pty Ltd, including the Minister, as tabled by the member for O'Connor, which revealed that interest had been capitalised, resulting in avoidance of income tax? If the information in these documents was not conveyed--


Mr SPEAKER —Order! I indicate to the honourable member that on another occasion I have had to rule out of order questions which go purely to the private affairs of the Minister and not to areas of his administration.


Mr MacKellar —This was a Press conference.


Mr SPEAKER —A Press conference is not a matter of his administration. I ask the honourable member for O'Connor to indicate where the question is--


Mr Dawkins —I am willing to answer it.


Mr SPEAKER —The Minister has not helped me. He has said that he is willing to answer the question, but under the Standing Orders the question cannot be addressed to him. I ask the honourable member for O'Connor to relate his question to the Minister's administration.


Mr TUCKEY —So that I can assist the Minister for Finance to answer I point out to you, Mr Speaker, that the Minister for Finance administers all the funds that are collected by the Taxation Commissioner and this is a matter that relates to the Taxation Commissioner. If the Taxation Commissioner does not get his fair share, the Minister for Finance obviously would not be able to administer those funds. May I finish the question?


Mr SPEAKER —The honourable member may finish the question.


Mr TUCKEY —If the information in these documents was not conveyed to the Taxation Commissioner at that time, does the Minister, as a member of Coomel, intend to instruct the liquidator to do so?


Mr DAWKINS —As the honourable member for O'Connor well knows, it is not for me to instruct the liquidator to do anything. What I indicated to the House before was by way of a letter from the liquidator, in which he indicated that full and true disclosure had been made in relation to these matters. That is where the matter should rest. I notice that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is strangely silent today in relation to these matters. Perhaps he has dodged asking me the questions and has left it to the honourable member for O'Connor. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that a tinge of double standards is coming over him today in respect of revelations that were made last night. Perhaps the Deputy Leader of the Opposition needs to be reminded of what he said in July last year. He said:

We have decided on this course of action because of the essentially fraudulent nature of much of the conduct involved.

What he was talking about was the introduction of the recoupment measures. He went on to say:

The legislation will be directed against people who have in effect taken off with moneys which should have been paid as tax to the Treasurer.

He subsequently said in October last year:

The only tax to be recovered under the legislation is tax that was legally payable and the payment of which has been illegally evaded.

Perhaps his attitude today, given the vituperative way in which he addressed me last week on those matters and accused me of tax evasion, is due to the fact that there is a self-confessed tax evader sitting alongside him on the front bench.