30-Oct-98 116 Bowman Parade
Bardon QLD 4065
Ph: (07) 366 2660
Email: Dave Keenan [Address removed]
Web: http://users.bigpond.net.au/d.keenan [URL updated]
Hon John Fahey
Minister of Finance
The House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
Dear Mr Fahey,
I am a conscientious objector, not only to military service but also to paying through my taxes for others to do it for me. For the past 8 years I have redirected the defence proportion of my taxes to organisations supporting research into nonviolent or civilian-based defence. The Deputy Commissioner of Taxation in Brisbane is currently undertaking debt recovery proceedings against me. I may eventually end up in jail, ostensibly for contempt. This will be difficult to explain to my children aged 5 and 1. For more background please see the extensive documentation via my web page at http://users.bigpond.net.au/d.keenan/CO [URL updated] which should be considered as if it were attached to this letter.
You may be aware of the similar case of Doctor Robert Burrowes in Melbourne in which, despite expenditure of public money which probably exceeded the original debt several times over, on bankruptcy and then contempt proceedings, not a cent has been recovered. The result in my case will be exactly the same.
I have recently learned that you have the power to waive such debts under section 70C subsection (2)(a)(i) of the Audit Act 1901.
Please waive my so-called debt to the Commonwealth. It currently stands at approximately $10,000 of which about half is due to penalty tax, interest and court costs.
I understand you will seek the advice of the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation in Brisbane. I have written to him asking him to support my request.
All the ATO and AGS staff involved in my case, to whom I have spoken, have said that they respect my beliefs but the law requires them to persue me. Now here is a law that, with your consent, will allow them not to have to. Please support me in what is, after all, only a basic human right in regard to a serious moral principle. The right not to be forced, against one's will, to be responsible for the death of another human being.
Note that I have not kept the money and have still spent it in the pursuit of my country's defence.
The money was used in part to support the research of Doctor Robert Burrowes who is the author of 'The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense', 1996, SUNY Press.
David C Keenan