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John Passant

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April 2015



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Is it time for the Senate to consider jailing the Treasurer and the Commissioner of Taxation?

To some members of the Senate Economics References Committee, Senators Sam Dastyari, Kim Carr, Chris Ketter, and Nick Xenophon, (as well as substitute members Doug Cameron and Jan McLucas):

As members of the  Senate Committee looking into tax avoidance, when Chris Jordan, a former KPMG (accountancy firm) partner and current Commissioner of Taxation, refuses to reveal the names of tax avoiding big business companies in testimony before you today and  instead claims public interest immunity, will you threaten to or actually jail him then and there for possible contempt of the Senate and/or the Committee?

If not why not? Or are you just mouthing platitudes in your so-called campaign against tax avoidance much like Abbott and Hockey and the Commissioner do?

Treasurer Joe Hockey has endorsed the decision of the Commissioner to claim public interest immunity (untested so far) and not name the powerful tax avoiders. Evidently we Australian people don’t have the right know who these tax leaners are, the businesses who plunder the fruits of our labour and wealth but who pay nothing to support the society which makes the profit for them.

Given that both Joe Hockey and Chris Jordan are possibly undermining the work of the Senate and this committee by not providing the names of the tax rorters, and supporting that decision, the question has to be asked: Are the Treasurer and the Commissioner of Taxation in contempt of the Senate and the Committee? If so, why aren’t their actions being investigated with a view to prosecution?

According to the Parliament House Library:

Power to conduct inquiries

Each House of the Parliament has the power to require the attendance of persons and production of documents and to take evidence under oath. This power supports one of the major functions of the Houses: that of inquiring into matters of concern as a necessary preliminary to debating those matters and legislating in respect of them. The power has long been regarded as essential for a legislature. The power is, in the last resort, dependent upon the power to punish contempts, in so far as that penal power is the means by which the Houses may enforce the attendance of witnesses, the answering of questions and the production of documents.

The power to conduct inquiries by compelling the attendance of witnesses, the giving of evidence and the production of documents is conferred by section 49 of the Constitution.

Later on it says:

Statutory definition of contempt

The 1987 Act (The Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987 ) contains what amounts to a statutory definition of contempt of Parliament:

4. Conduct (including the use of words) does not constitute an offence against a House unless it amounts, or is intended or likely to amount, to an improper interference with the free exercise by a House or committee of its authority or functions, or with the free performance by a member of the member’s duties as a member.

Enactment of this provision means that it is no longer open to a House, as it was under the previous law, to treat any act as a contempt. The provision restricts the category of acts which may be treated as contempts, and it is subject to judicial interpretation. A person punished for a contempt of Parliament could bring an action to attempt to establish that the conduct for which the person was punished did not fall within the statutory definition. This could lead to a court overturning a punishment imposed by a House for a contempt of Parliament.



Comment from Lorikeet
Time April 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

I think most of them would not care what happens. They just through the motion to make it look good. But I do think that Christine Milne and Nick Xenophon at least appeared to be trying to do something.

I would like to see the lady from ACOSS called to account also, because she certainly isn’t working for ordinary Australians any more.

Comment from Ross
Time April 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm

KPMG? Looks like they put the fox in charge of the henhouse.

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