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Monday, 26 May 2003
Page: 14986

Mr Murphy asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 13 February 2003:

In answer to a question without notice (Hansard, 19 August 2002, page 4811) from the Member for Barton concerning the taskforce inquiry into wealthy barristers using bankruptcy laws to avoid tax and the Government's failure after seven months to make public or provide a response to the taskforce's report, did he state that the Government was working very hard on the report of the taskforce and that he hoped that the Government response would be seen very soon; if so, what is that response.

Mr Williams (Attorney-General) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Yes. On 30 August the Assistant Treasurer and I released a joint statement outlining the steps the Government was taking to strengthen laws to prevent tax abuse. Drawing on the work of the taskforce the Government released an issues paper on possible further changes to bankruptcy and family law to prevent high income earners from avoiding their obligations to pay income tax. The issues paper was available for comments until 20 February 2003. ITSA and the Attorney-General's Department are currently considering the comments received in order to formulate advice to Government on the form of the possible changes to bankruptcy and family law.