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Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Page: 8238


Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (09:50): Evidence was heard by the Senate Economics Committee that up to a thousand of Australia's biggest privately owned companies would be exempt from providing information—basic information. I remind the Senate what that information is. We are not asking for much. We are asking for the ABN and the name of the company; we are asking for total income for the income year; we are asking for taxable income or net income, if any, for the income year; and we are asking for income tax payable, if any, for the financial year. That is it. That is what we are asking each of these thousand companies to provide. It is not much. As Senator Xenophon discovered, if you go to ASIC, you get a lot more information than that—you get a thick file of consolidated accounts for all these companies. But what we want is a register that is publicly available, a net that captures all these corporations—because some of them we do not know about. It is hard to seek the information you want from ASIC if you do not know of their existence. The ATO should know of their existence, but that is not, as we discussed yesterday, in the realm of the public debate. Minister, who lobbied you or your government to bring in the original exemption? Have you had any direct discussions with the Family Office Institute of Australia?