6. Australia

In Australia a bill is introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1989 by Senator Vallentine. The short title is: Peace Trust Fund Bill.[1]

In section 5 of the bill is regulated that a natural person who objects, by reason of his or her commitment to pacifism rising out of his or her religious, moral or ethical beliefs, to paying taxes that are to be, or may be, used for military purposes, may apply to the Commissioner of Taxation to be registered as a conscientious objector.

Section 6 prescribes that the Commissioner of Taxation has to keep a register of persons who have duly made such an application.

According to section 8 such a registered conscientious objector can request that ten percent of his income tax will be transferred to the Peace Trust Fund.

The Peace Trust Fund has to be ruled by a Board of Trustees. The functions of the Board of Trustees are designed to promote domestic, regional and international peace and security through a variety of nonviolent, nonmilitary means.

The Board of Trustees is to comprise five persons appointed after consultation between the Minister of Finance and the National Consultative Committee on Peace and Disarmament and four nominees of the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Chairman is appointed by the Minister of Finance.

The bill defines the functions of the Board, which include: to enhance Australian independence and security by nonviolent and nonmilitary means, to support work for the enhancement of international law, international institutions and bilateral cooperation, to assist nations in the region to develop technologies appropriate to their national development, to support research into the nonviolent resolution of conflict, training and mediation and conflict resolution skills and their practise at international and local levels, to support peace research in Australian universities, to support peace education in Australian educational institutions, to support research and development involving the conversion of industrial production from military to nonmilitary uses, to support the development of communication and regional cooperation amongst the nations in the Australian region, and such other purposes as may be approved.

  • [1] Bill d.d. 1989, number 89/166346 with explanatory memorandum.

Copyright and responsibility Erik Th. Hummels 1997

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