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The whistleblower that stopped the nation

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ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle faces 161 years prison (Screenshot via YouTube)

On Cup Day, let's drink to ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle, without whom we may not be able to afford a tipple at all.

IT'S THAT TIME of year again. Dress up plus drink up, plus horse race equals arse-up, plus throw up, plus disgrace. We’ve all been there. There’s no judgement here.

This year, however, there is an extra special reason to celebrate. Australia has unearthed the hardest substance known to man and no, it has not been dug up or synthesised in a lab.

Come Tuesday, people will be putting their lives on the line so once again we can bask in the glory of being Australian. People have been waking before dawn to push their steeds through gruelling lap after lap, barrier trial after barrier trial, lead up race, after lead up race — and that is just to get to the starting line. They are made of hard stuff, but not the hardest substance known to man. No, it’s much harder than that.

As you stand there barraged by online gambling apps flashing up odds, telling us where the experts' money is going and where to find the best bets – and then sincerely reminding us to gamble responsibly – I’d like you to consider this. There are a whole bunch of Aussies who could not indulge in a little tipple this year, were it not for the hardest substance known to man.

When the big race comes around and you have your champagne or beer in hand. As the room goes silent, please raise your glass to the hardest substance known to man. Ladies and gentlemen, charge your glasses, today we pay homage to Richard Boyle’s guts.

Australia and the rest of the world for that matter are facing what could be the toughest economic conditions in a generation. Thanks to Richard Boyle's guts, a significant number of Aussie small businesses will be doing it without an openly aggressive and unaccountable taxation office abusing the system and sneaking its hands into their pockets.

There's enough evidence floating around that within a wide variety of corporate structures, good people do bad things. The individual players aren’t the problem, the culture is. Richard Boyle stood up to this culture and he tried to do it the acceptable way. When that failed, he put himself on the line and did the right thing. There is little doubt that it put noses out of joint and those noses are likely the reason he is being persecuted.

Those who have been embarrassed have taken Richard’s actions personally. Their response has been vindictive and ultimately futile. Are they trying to recover the right to gouge small business to meet KPIs? Let's hope not.

Instead of taking the feedback, improving the system and moving on, the powers that be have decided to waste taxpayers' money in the vexatious prosecution of someone who has done the morally right thing. In so doing, they have also dragged this issue on, reminding the community again about conduct that should be embarrassing for them and would otherwise be long forgotten.

Enough about what shouldn’t be happening and a little about what should be. There is a GoFundMe campaign that has been set up to fund Richard’s legal defence. Toss in a few bucks as a gesture of thanks. And come race day, raise your glass to a real Australian hero.

This bloke should be on a stamp or something.

You can donate to whistleblower Richard Boyle's legal costs here.

Dr Kyle Mervin is a former neuroscientist with post-doctoral experience working at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Neurobiology department).

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