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Public scandal finally addressed.

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The Hon Duncan Kerr MP

Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs

Shadow Minister for the Arts

Federal Member for Denison

14th June 1999





“The bust of an $8 million illegal tobacco operation finally addresses a public scandal that has been exposed for months,” Shadow Justice and Customs Minister, Duncan Kerr said today.


“The Opposition has raised this matter in Senate estimates a number of times and 1 am pleased finally action is being taken.


“Duty paid tobacco costs about $280 a kilogram, whereas illegal ‘chop chop’ tobacco could be had for as little as $20 a kilogram making it a tempting black market trade for organised crime.


“It appears the transfer of excise collection from Customs to the Australian Tax Office may have left the responsibility for policing of the duty unclear 3 leaving the door wide open for illegal traders.


“Illegal tobacco sales have been widespread throughout the community in recent times, leading to the issue being exposed in The Herald Sun newspaper in September last year after numerous complaints by tobacco retailers to the Federal Government fell on deaf ears,” Mr Kerr said.


‘Todays’ action begins to close the door on an ugly scandal that was growing under the noses of the authorities,” Mr Kerr said.


Contact: Duncan Kerr 0418 125 161



jk  1999-06-16  09:54