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Wednesday, 8 December 1976

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I have been disturbed in recent weeks as I have noticed from newspaper reports that some State governments are considering the introduction of identity cards. The application of ID cards can go far and wide. I want to convey to the House some of the uses to which various governments throughout the world require ID cards to be put. They may be required for the simple act of voting. On many occasions they are required by police. They may be required for social security or tax purposes. In one country a person needs an ID card even to go to school. They may be required for travelling in a country or for internal security purposes. I think it is in Laos that they are required for obtaining government rations. ID cards may be required for census purposes and for a host of other reasons.

Some have been introduced simply for the purposes of voting, to identify a voter at the poll, ut they have been developed within those countries as a general identification card. Some countries even require a person's fingerprints, as well as his photograph, to be set out clearly on the card. In some cases there is the likelihood of arrest and prosecution if a person fails to carry his ID card at all times. In the United States of America one is not required by law to carry an ID card at all times, but in that country I, perhaps like a number of other members in this chamber, have been called upon to produce an ID card and have even been refused service because of my inability to identify myself properly.

Mr Lusher - What about your gold pass?

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) -What a silly interjection! I ask permission of the Opposition member at the table to have incorporated in Hansard a paper prepared for me by the Legislative Reference Service of the Parliamentary Library. The incorporation has been cleared by the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith (Mr Lionel Bowen) and by the honourable member for Maribyrnong (Dr Cass). I did not know that the honourable member for Melbourne (Mr Innes) would be at the table.

Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted?

Mr Innes - I have not seen the document.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - It truly has been cleared.

Mr SPEAKER - I will ask the honourable member for Griffith to continue speaking.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) -While the honourable member for Melbourne examines that complex document, I will mention that in many instances it traces the history of the initial introduction of ID cards, seemingly for innocent purposes, but their extension later to become as indelible upon a nation's lifestyle and as permanent as a number tattooed upon the citizen's hand. The ills of this nation are of an economic nature and not of internal subversion.

In the moments that remain to me I make a plea to all honourable members of this chamber to ensure that they resist any attempt, whether it be by a State government or by a Federal government, to introduce identity cards. When the day arrives that each and every Australian has to carry an ID card this nation certainly will have lost a lot. I assure you, Mr Speaker, that I have been interested in what is broadly described as civil liberties ever since I arrived in this place, and after10 years my determination to ensure that those liberties are preserved is in no way diminished.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member for Griffith asked for leave to incorporate a document in Hansard.

Mr Innes - Leave is granted.

Mr SPEAKER -There being no objection, leave is granted.

The document read as follows-

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