Australia: Government 'sneaking through ID card'
The Australian | February 8, 2007
THE Federal Government has used climate change as a diversion to sneak a national ID card into Parliament, claims the Australian Privacy Foundation.
Draft laws setting up the Access Card, which will replace the Medicare card and provide access to up to 16 other government health and welfare services, were introduced into Parliament this morning.
But the foundation said the card was really a national ID card "pure and simple" with all the features of the Australia Card proposal rejected in the 1980s.
"Today's tactics smack of political opportunism, sneaking a Bill into Parliament before it is ready, while attention is diverted by the climate change debate," foundation spokeswoman Anna Johnston said.
"We suspect the Government is trying to hide the division in its own ranks. But it's too late, senior backbenchers like Bronwyn Bishop are already speaking out."
Ms Bishop has expressed her concern over the card, saying that such a scheme would have helped the Nazis round up and kill Jews.
Ms Johnston said the Government must release full details on the project and then listen to any concerns the public may have, saying that currently all people could examine was a press release on Human Services Ian Campbell's website.
"Members of the public can't review or discuss the tender documents," she said.
"The public has a right to know exactly how the so-called Access Card is going to impact on their daily lives ... If they've (the Government) got nothing to hide, they've got nothing to fear."
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