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Thursday, 4 June 1987
Page: 4030

Mr DONALD CAMERON(5.05) —I believe I speak on behalf of all members on the Opposition side of the House when I say that we resent and we reject the Government's suggestion that our reservations about this Bill have arisen because we support drug pushers, crime syndicates and tax dodgers. It has been a pattern in this place in the last couple of years that Government members have repeatedly violated so many rights of the citizenry. They always state: `We are trying to get the drug pushers, the tax dodgers and the crime syndicates'. They do everything using that excuse as a shroud to cover up what they are all about.

The Opposition is saying that we have doubts about how this legislation should be implemented. Let us set up a select committee of the Parliament to have a look at it before we rush headlong into it. Here we are at seven minutes past five on the last afternoon of this Parliament and the Government is trying to race this legislation through as if it were a matter of tremendous import. The realities of life are that the Government was elected at the end of 1984. If it was so imperative and so important, why did the Government not do it in the last 2 1/2 years? It has not done it. Yet Government members stand up here and make speeches such as the speeches we have heard from three or four Labour members in a row this afternoon. If anything epitomises the thinking of Labor politicians, it is the speech by the honourable member for Lowe (Mr Maher), who, thankfully, has come back into the House. Anyone who heard that speech will recall his painful story of his little children having all these bank accounts-so many accounts that he could not count them. When he put in his pecuniary interests return, under the heading `Children and Dependants' he put in `assorted number' because he could not count them.

Mr Maher —That is right.

Mr DONALD CAMERON —The honourable member says that that is right. I am not disputing it. The one thing about the honourable member for Lowe is that he is honest. When it comes to woolly thinking, he is the embodiment of woolly thinking; he is woolly thinking personified. He wants to go and crush the little children. He dictated from his seat that all these children should not be allowed to have these accounts, and how terrible it is. We heard that from one Labor speaker in justification and then, from the next speaker, we heard about drugs, crime and tax evasion. Those opposite cannot have it their own way. A committee would at least sort out their minds, give them an opportunity to sit down and think out why this Cash Transaction Reports Bill should be put in place-instead of them coming here and trying to justify it on the ground that `My kids have all these bank accounts at home; how terrible it is'. The honourable member for Lowe is also saying that his children are going to grow up and they are going to be used to a lot of accounts. When they get at their money they are going to put some in one account and some in another account. He said that this is evil. I say to the honourable member for Lowe that we live in a democracy and there are freedoms in this country. You believe that everybody should be corralled, everybody should be regimented and everybody should do exactly as you say they should do.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar) —Order! I suggest to the honourable member that he is experienced enough to realise that he should be addressing the Chair. I invite him to do so and not to address other members directly.

Mr DONALD CAMERON —Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I get more of a reaction out of watching the honourable member for Lowe than I do out of you. But I note your correction. We heard other speakers on the Labor side hark back to the ID card. I am more than happy to face my constituents, they having the full knowledge that I am totally opposed to the ID card. I have voted that way and I have spoken that way in the Parliament and the reason why I am proud to stand on my view is that I believe I am right. Honourable members opposite sit there with their mouths open and nod their heads like the figures into which one puts ping-pong balls on Sideshow Alley. In their Party there is great division on the subject of the ID card. Yesterday I received a letter from a Canberra resident who said that she had voted for Labor all her life.

Mr Martin —Oh, yes!

Mr DONALD CAMERON —Did you get one, too?

Mr Martin —No.

Mr DONALD CAMERON —I shall let you have a copy of mine. She is abandoning the Labor Party this year because she feels so strongly about the invasion of privacy it is proposing to indulge in. Let the people of Australia know and understand that the Labor Party is using the ID card as an excuse for a double dissolution, but if it were to win the next election it would bring together both Houses of Parliament and ram through the ID card legislation. Let that be understood! Members of the Labor Party believe that people will be so attracted to that proposal that they will forget the money the Government has ripped out of their pockets and the way it has increased taxes over the last four years. The Government is giving the people a tax reduction on 1 July and it is going out and saying how marvellous it is. It has had its hands in both their pockets and now it will put a few coins back in one of them and say: `Vote for us'.

I believe honourable members opposite are in for a big shock on 11 July. They timed the election because they believed they would win it. There were a thousand promises. One of them was, `No early election'. When the Prime Minister came to power in March 1983 he promised that under a Hawke Government there would never again be an early election but that is all we have had since that time, early elections.

Mr Price —I raise a point of order. I was listening very keenly to the honourable member but I found it difficult to relate his remarks to the purposes and objectives of the Bill.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —The point of order is quite persuasive. I invite the honourable member for Moreton to come back to the Bill.

Mr DONALD CAMERON —I take your direction, Mr Deputy Speaker, and conclude my reference to the early election. We are saying that, with this early election, we do not want the Cash Transaction Reports Bill to be rushed through. We believe it should be put aside and investigated by a committee in the new Parliament to get rid of its warts, and then be implemented. Not all honourable members on this side of the House are opposed to it, it is just the haste. I am now talking about cash transactions and the way the Government has ripped into the pockets of the little people and the not so little people. In 1983 we were given the promise that there would be no more early elections but we had one 18 months later and now there is another one. Government members do not like the words `early election'. They are jumping up like a jack in the box.

Mr Bilney —Mr Deputy Speaker, my point of order is exactly the same as that recently raised by my colleague. I do not see what the remarks of the honourable member for Moreton have to do with the Bill before the House.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —I took the immediate past remarks of the honourable member to be on the score of urgency, as to why the matter is being dealt with perfunctorily, but I invite him to be quite conscientious in addressing the House.

Mr DONALD CAMERON —I shall return to the ID card, which has been raised by several speakers on the Government side. They them- selves have tied that in to the Cash Transaction Reports Bill. To meet your understandable requirement, Mr Deputy Speaker, I shall go back to the point I was making. If the Labor Government is re-elected at the coming election the ID card will be implemented automatically by virtue of a joint sitting. I am concerned about this joint sitting. The people of Australia should not make the mistake of re-electing the Labor Government so that the joint sitting comes about to pass the ID card legislation which, as Government members have said, is tied up with this Bill. I hope they will allow me to speak along those lines. They are all nodding their heads in agreement.

I want to talk about this election again and the way it has been brought on with great speed and haste because the Government believes it can win. No Government ever calls an election without really believing it will win, but the Labor Party has misread the climate. When people understand that the ID card is part and parcel of a Labor victory; as more people appreciate that they are being conned with the tax cuts on 1 July; when they better understand that the Budget the Labor Government has in mind for August is so horrific that it is not game to let them see it; when they see that the Government wants to get the election over-that is what it is all about-I am confident that, under John Howard's leadership, this country will take a turn for the better and the Labor Government will be dismissed. I can understand their fears and trembles. I think the honourable member for Lowe has a majority of 2 per cent-

Mr Maher —Eleven July is my birthday.

Mr DONALD CAMERON —The honourable member will not get a very pleasant birthday present. He is the kind of man as he has admitted this afternoon who wants go around closing children's bank accounts. He was castigating his kids for having all those accounts. I simply observe that honourable members on this side of the House are not totally opposed to the idea of large transactions being reported but we are opposed to the haste with which the Bill is being introduced and we believe that an important intrusion into civil liberties such as this should be allowed a little time in which to be considered.

I now move to a question raised by the honourable member for Moncrieff (Mrs Sullivan) today, when she asked the Minister for Social Security (Mr Howe) about a matter that is very much in line with cash transactions. She asked what will happen to spouses who, from 1 October, will have to apply for the family allowance and who, in their applications, will have to state every penny received in income by their families. My wife knows everything about me and everything that we own.

Mr Scott —Everything?

Mr DONALD CAMERON —Everything. However, there are many marriages in which husbands and wives feel that what each of them earns is a private matter. It is his or her business. With the introduction of the family allowance income test-and it is a bit like the assets test; it is the knock on the door all over again-the Government is saying to one partner, `If you do not tell us exactly what your partner is earning, watch out'. Some partners will refuse to give all the information, although they might give some. They might say, `Put down $30,000'. In 99 per cent of cases the wife will say: `Oh darling, you know what they will do if I give them false information. There will probably be a $5,000 fine'. The husband will say: `We have discussed my money matters for years. We agreed years ago that what you earn is your business and what I earn is my business'. What the Government is doing with that legislation-Australians be warned, that is what the Government is all about-is to start penalising people if they do not extract from their partners 100 per cent of the information about how much their partners are earning in order to qualify for family allowances. I just leave that thought with honourable members. That is yet another cash transaction.

If the honourable member for Lowe (Mr Maher) is so concerned about all the bank accounts his little children have, perhaps he should start turning his mind to this, because it is a minefield that the Labor Party is proposing. The Labor Government introduces so much legislation that contains snags and traps that catch honest people. It tramples on honest people and justifies it by talking about the drug carriers, the crime syndicates and the tax dodgers. There is a limit to how much people will believe and the Government has already exceeded it.