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Topic: Stains on a White Collar
Doing the Darwin Shuffle Part Two. The Northern Territory as a tax haven: 1982 to 1986

Doing the Darwin Shuffle Part Two. The Northern Territory as a tax haven: 1982 to 1986

Senator WALSH — I was aware of the fact that the Northern Territory is heavily dependent upon Commonwealth revenue [and] I have noted from time to time that nobody has a more voracious appetite for Commonwealth money than the present Northern Territory Chief Minister, although incongruously nobody is a more vocal critic of the Commonwealth taxes which raise the revenue which he so voraciously consumes. Senator Peter Walsh, Hansard, May 1983.

Doing the Darwin Shuffle. The Northern Territory as a tax haven. Part One: 1971 to 1982

Doing the Darwin Shuffle. The Northern Territory as a tax haven. Part One: 1971 to 1982

Graeme Lewis was part éminence grise, part bagman and part trouble-maker—as often within as without—for the NT's Country Liberal Party for more than forty years. Lewis passed away in early April while speaking from the floor of the 2018 annual conference of his beloved CLP. For all his apparent successes and failings—I'll leave the hagiography and excoriation for others—Graeme Lewis never held publicly elected office but nonetheless deserves respect as the Northern Territory's long-term political player par excellence. Lewis was also a prominent player in the Darwin Shuffle, the avoidance scheme that operated in the NT from at least the early 1970s through to the 1980s.

Corruption in the NT – meat, maggots and backhanders – the 1982 Royal Commission Into the Australian Meat Industry

Corruption in the NT – meat, maggots and backhanders – the 1982 Royal Commission Into the Australian Meat Industry

The really disturbing feature of these revelations was that the people concerned were not evil - many of them would have been regarded as reliable and effective officers. They were ordinary Australians, in positions of some responsibility, who were either demanding, or at least accepting, clearly improper payments which could only have the effect of compromising them in the performance of their duties.