KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has slammed a Federal Government Bill which will control how much cash people are allowed to spend as being a danger to the Australian freedoms; a danger which he thinks is greater than the danger to our lives through a terrorism event being carried out in Australia; which the bill sells as being able to reduce.
The Federal Government snuck through and tabled The Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 on Friday afternoon of the last parliamentary sitting while the House had risen and all Members and their staff were returning home.
The bill carries a punishment of significant fines and jail time of up to two years if a person is caught spending or accepting a cash payment over $10,000. If passed, the bill will come into effect from 1 January 2020.
“The danger here to our freedom is greater than the danger to our lives through terrorism,’’ Mr Katter said.
“Clearly there are a thousand reasons why people like to hide a little bit of wealth; and have access to cash.”
Mr Katter quoted George Orwell in his dystopian novel ‘1984’ saying “Big Brother is watching” and that a person’s right to privacy with some of their wealth is one of the most important rights that Australians have.
“I’m told that for every 10 people in China there is one camera watching. Now whether that’s accurate or not, in most police cases that have caught my interest, I notice that the first thing they go to is the security cameras and people have no idea to what degree they are being watched on a daily basis.”
The Federal Government’s key selling point of the bill is better control of the ‘black economy’; arguing that it will reduce money laundering and the purchasing of weapons on the black market, but Mr Katter warned that an increase in going digital will result in an increase in cyber-hacking and that the bill’s passing will open the flood gates on further restriction of freedoms.
“The Government promotes the bill as a measure to combat funded international and homegrown terrorism yet with the ever-rising digital theft and threat of international cyber hacking I wouldn’t be trusting my bank account or the authorities to protect it, nor should they be controlling it.
“The Government will argue that this is the one and only initiative that they will implement to eliminate the black economy however, once the bill is introduced and passed, they will have the flexibility to dictate many more amendments to the law. It will give the police the power to control your cash over $10,000.
“Once the legislation is in place, they have opened the doors to regulate and change as they see fit.
“The assumption that our cash transactions are due to unsavoury activity allows for the prosecution of the potentially innocent, it has always been innocent until proven guilty?
“I’m sure the Government and policing authorities’ intentions are good but the only people allowed to have guns in our society are the people in uniforms.
“So we have lost the right to protect ourselves and now our right to privacy has been taken away with this bill. Are the Government and authorities going to act responsibly? Yes, most of the time. All the time? No.
“All I see here is the undermining of the great principles of Magna Carta in the rule of law. Through insidious increments, ‘The means that is argued justifies the end’.”