Proof of Identity If Accessing Taxpayer Funded Services

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The ABC news reported, 47% skilled migrants and 40% of students from India arrive in Australia on false passports.

Until we take control of our borders, we will be taken for a soft touch by those who will use and abuse our system however it may suit them. 

These people coming to Australia are coming to stay and hopefully get lost in the system, otherwise they would not arrive illegally. They would only have enough money for an interim period of time, but not for the long term. The only way they would be able to survive would be to use family and friends to assist them. This may be way of housing, providing them with their Medicare cards to visit the doctor or hospital. Give information to collect welfare from Centrelink or provide them with employment in a friend or family business.

I visited Thailand in 2012 with Today Tonight to do a story on false identification that can be purchased off the streets in market stalls, at a price. Australians driver’s licenses, Medicare cards, Qantas security passes, truck drivers licences, nurses qualifications degrees to name some. Whatever identification you want can purchased. It was also possible to purchase an Australian passport.

Australians have always been very protective of their identity, concerned about big brother watching. Now is the time for us to consider introducing secure identification that cannot be stolen by others to defraud our welfare, medical, schools, pharmaceutical benefits and any other taxpayer funded service.

Chile as an example has the persons finger print on their passport and drivers licence. All new born in Chile are fingerprinted at birth. This is a system that cannot be rorted and abused by non-Chilean citizens.

Australia must consider introducing the same form of identification to protect our boarders with those entering illegally under false passports and our tax dollars from those who would abuse our system. 

It was brought to my attention that a visitor from another country borrowed his relations Medicare card, went to the doctor and was then admitted to hospital. Due to his illness he died. The owner of the card had to admit to authorities what he had done. He was not fined but had to pay for the hospital costs. This is not a rare case where people not entitled to benefits, use other Australian’s cards and identity to access medical care. The federal police informed me that in 1997 $1 Billion worth of drugs are procured in Australia by people visiting from overseas who use their friends and relatives Medicare cards to obtain drugs to take back to their homeland. 

For those who wish to access taxpayer funded services whether it be doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical, education, welfare or any other taxpayer funded service must prove that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident entitled to benefits or otherwise pay the full cost of the service.

Australians can be electronically fingerprinted and these machines can be used in doctor’s surgeries, Centrelink and any other government departments that require identification.

This is not an invasion of privacy. These days, there is all manner of information with regards to all of us, stored around the nation. This is ensuring that people no longer have the ability to defraud our system. 

In 1996-97 the health budget for the Commonwealth was approx. $36 billion. At that time our population was approx. 18,500,000. In 2013 14 the health budget for the Commonwealth is approx. $65 Billion. Our population now 23,000,000. The budget has almost doubled but the population has not. Even if we allow for cost increases, I believe our system is being abused and rorted.

It is also a known fact through media outlets that our welfare system is also being abused. If we are to have the finances to care for our aged, sick, homeless, education and infrastructure then we have to take control. Australians are one of the highest taxed countries in the world. Too many Australians are struggling to pay their bills. Many are waiting for housing or assistance that our governments are finding hard to provide.

I have no problem providing my fingerprint. Anyone who does, then has the right to forgo being fingerprinted and pay full price for all taxpayer funded services.

By Pauline Hanson 



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