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Wednesday, 27 May 1987
Page: 3464

(Question No. 5323)

Mr Jacobi asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 30 April 1987:

(1) Further to his answer to my question No. 2132 (Hansard, 11 February 1986, page 43), as a further measure in the fight against organised crime through illicit money laundering and facilitating large scale tax avoidance, when will the Government enact similar legislation as applied in the USA which would grant immunity to bank officers who report to the appropriate authorities when they detect such illicit money transactions.

(2) Will the Government introduce legislation granting access to both tax records and bank records to combat the escalation of organised crime.

Mr Lionel Bowen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Legislation giving financial institutions protection where information is communicated to law enforcement agencies about suspected use of banking facilities for unlawful purposes was introduced on 30 April 1987. The relevant provisions are clauses 79 and 80 of the Proceeds of Crime Bill 1987.

(2) The Proceeds of Crime Bill also provides for production orders, search warrants and monitoring orders which permit law enforcement access to banking and other records to facilitate the following of the money trail in relation to organised crime. The question of access to taxation information is under consideration by my colleague the Treasurer and I understand that legislation will be introduced later in the year.