Those of you old enough to remember the late 1980s will remember the furor over the Australia Card. Prime Minister Bob Hawke tried to introduce an identity card for all Australian’s, he was so adamant he called a double-dissolution election in an attempt to get it through a reluctant Senate. Ultimately community outcry killed it off, driver’s licenses have bye and large taken its place.
Today I received a combined press release from Troy Buswell, Tony Simpson and Helen Morton saying they intend to revisit the identity card issue by introducing a WA version. They say it will be voluntary, but once introduced how long will it be before any commerce with government agencies will be very difficult without one?
The release also states: “It will hold a number of security features including a unique identification number to prevent fraud and identity crime.” What other information will it hold? Those who saw Monday’s 4 Corners on ABC TV will now start to get nervous.
The rationale used is to assist those in our community who do not have a driver’s license to provide ID. These people are described as older people and those with disabilities. If that is the case why charge the most vulnerable financially stressed $35.20 to obtain one? I could be sympathetic to the idea if they were issued free to help people on benefits and pensions, held minimal declared information and were not linked to any other networks.