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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 128

Mr TUCKEY —I address my question to the Prime Minister. I draw the attention of the Prime Minister to the recent decision of Justice Pincus of the Federal Court of Australia in the matter of Western Television Ltd v. Australian Broadcasting Tribunal in which Justice Pincus made it clear that the failure by a company director to lodge income tax returns is sufficient reason for the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal to refuse a television licence to that company. I also refer the Prime Minister to the recent decision of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal to make the renewal of the licence of the highly rated and regarded Perth radio station 96FM subject to the resignation of the chairman of the board, who has been convicted of failing to lodge tax returns, which the Tribunal said was a `neglect of one of the basic obligations of a citizen'. In the light of this opinion of a learned judge and a government tribunal that failure to lodge tax returns, irrespective of subsequent remedial action, must require the resignation of a company director from the administration of a mere government licensee, how does the Prime Minister now justify his statement of 28 November 1986 that the Treasurer's non-lodgment of tax returns `is not one of immense consequence'? When will the Prime Minister lift his principles to those of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal and require the resignation of his Treasurer, the late lodger?

Mr HAWKE —I have said all that I intend to say on the question of the action of my friend and colleague, the Treasurer. Despite the intense desire of what passes for an opposition to see the Treasurer out of his office, I will not give it that pleasure.