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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 8927


Mr SOMLYAY (Fairfax) (13:51): Community service and the tax office—who would have thought that these phrases could be used in the same sentence? Let me say it is not such a real paradox. The ATO is simply one of those agencies we love to loath but today I am sharing the love of the wonderful service the ATO provides through their free Tax Help program. Tax Help is an incredible network of community volunteers who provide free service to people to complete their tax returns. So it is not all one way with the tax office; it really does give back to the community and help those who need it most. For a few months each year, in my own electorate office, we provide space for Tax Help. We are booked solidly for the duration and it is a real example of the success of the ATO working at grassroots level.

I want to pay tribute to Sue Bailey, our own tireless tax helper, a volunteer. She is a local lady, well into her retirement years, who has stepped up year in year out to provide much-needed professional guidance to so many. She gives her time and her wisdom freely and for free. People come for tax help the first time because there is no cost, but they return again because of Sue. Sue Bailey is a wonderful ambassador for tax help and the ATO, and a wonderful role model for our volunteers. Thank you for allowing me to wax lyrical about tax.