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Exposure Draft Taxation Administration Amendment (Disclosure of Information) Regulation 2016

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Exposure Draft Taxation Administration Amendment (Disclosure of Information) Regulation 2016 (the Exposure Draft Regulation). 

The Law Council acknowledges the assistance of its Business Law Section’s Privacy Law Committee, the Migration Law Committee and the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) in the preparation of this submission. 

The Law Council recognises the importance of effectively detecting, investigating and prosecuting the exploitation of vulnerable visa holders in the workplace, including the exploitation of workers to perform unlawful unpaid work. However, it considers that any such law enforcement operations that come into contact with victims of trafficking, slavery, or slavery-like offences must allow victims to recover wages and seek compensation in circumstances where such victims would otherwise be deported. The Law Council notes that some victims may not be aware that they are engaged in illegal activities. 

The proposal in the Exposure Draft Regulation is to list Taskforce Cadena as a prescribed taskforce for the purposes of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (TAA). This would enable authorised taxation officers to share taxpayer information, which may include personal information, with Taskforce Cadena agencies on an ongoing basis. Current Taskforce Cadena agencies include: the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO). 

Information sharing is part of an increasingly robust framework for achieving law enforcement objectives. 

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