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Feds need to be smarter on card.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Feds need to be smarter on card

Issued: 28 April 2006

Senator Trish Crossin says the Federal Government’s routine bungling of everything it handles, doesn't inspire her with confidence that it is smart enough to implement the smart identity card.

"For example, the scheme for the issuing of just 10,000 aviation security cards for airport staff, has gone dangerously wrong already with the loss about 300 of them” Senator Crossin said.

"They can’t even accurately identify Australian citizens before they deport them and we are still finding illegal fishermen camping up the rivers in the NT.”

“I have little faith in the Government’s ability to deliver the Smartcard and protect people’s privacy..

"The Government’s refrain of ‘just trust us’ is wearing very thin especially after the ministerial incompetence in the wheat for weapons scandal.

"The Federal Government firstly needs to release the KPMG report into the costs and practicalities of the smart card.

"Territorians have a right to know exactly what the government is planning with the card, what it is going to cost us and for what benefit.

"I want to see a firm plan for this card and the protections it will offer to people’s privacy.

"So far it looks like the Government is making up its smart card policy on the run, adding bits on as each minister has a brain wave or will this be another case of legislate now and reveal the details later as was the case with the Work Choices legislation.

"The Government says the card will be voluntary but how can that be when it is to replace the Medicare card which everyone is required to have.

"Let’s see a detailed proposal for the Smartcard so the public can have a serious debate on it and actively take part in whether it should be introduced” Senator Crossin said.