June 26

Lindsay Tanner MP to waive parliamentary privilege?

The following letter and email is being sent to the Hon Lindsay Tanner, MP, Minister for Finance:

Dear Mr. Tanner,

I am delighted to see your refreshing call for the waiving of parliamentary privilege.  

I would be grateful if you would confirm by return that you are waiving any privilege concerning your allegation of a tax scam and fraud made against me and several other persons in the House on 13 February 2006. You will recall that after a most rigorous investigation this was subsequently found by the Australian Tax Office to be baseless. However you have not to date apologised to any of those defamed.


The affair is summarised in the following negotiated reply from me included in a report from the Privileges and Members’ Interests Committee received by the House of Representatives on 4 September, 2008 and  incorporated in Hansard.


“On 13 February 2006, Mr Lindsay Tanner MP, the Member for Melbourne, alleged that Australian’s for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) had ‘engaged in a brazen tax scam’ and that the association between ACM and the Constitution Education Fund Australia (CEF-A) was a ‘fraud on Australian taxpayers,’ according to Hansard, 4 September, 2008. 


“He offered no evidence nor had he contacted either ACM or CEF-A beforehand.

 “However he urged ACM ‘to make use of their right of reply in parliament’ to provide an explanation of the circumstances.’”  

 “In referring to me as the national convenor of ACM, there was an implication that the allegations Mr Tanner made applied to me in a way that adversely affected my reputation.   

“The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) conducted a comprehensive and lengthy audit of CEF-A, and substantial costs were involved in satisfying the requests of the ATO. 


“The audit resulted in no finding of any breach of the tax laws. Although requested, Mr Tanner has not withdrawn his allegation.”

 If you could confirm the waiving of privilege I undertake to inform each person affected by your allegation.  

David Flint,

National Convener ACM



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