18 February 2019

Government taking action on all 76 recommendations

It has now been two weeks since the Hayne Royal Commission Final Report was made public, yet Bill Shorten and the Labor Party have still not responded, proving they are more interested in political stunts than practical solutions.

The Coalition Government is getting on with the job of implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission and, in a number of important areas, is going further to reform the financial services sector.

  • We have passed legislation through the Senate to:
    • extend civil penalties to superannuation fund trustees and directors for breach of their best interests duty (Recommendation 3.7);
    • ban superannuation funds from inducing employers (Recommendations 3.6);
    • provide the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) with more powers to deal with underperforming superannuation funds;
    • proactively reunite superannuation members with their low-balance and inactive accounts;
    • ban superannuation exit fees and cap fees on certain accounts; and
    • significantly increase criminal and civil penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct.
  • We have announced a capability review of the APRA (Recommendation 6.13).
  • We have announced an immediate review of financial counselling services.
  • We are working with the states and territories towards establishing a national farm debt mediation scheme (Recommendation 1.11).

In contrast to the Government’s immediate action, the Labor Party has not even responded to the Final Report after two weeks. This is despite Shadow Financial Services Minister Clare O’Neil saying on the day of its release:

O'NEIL: Over the coming days, we will be more detailed about our response to different aspects of the report. You don't need to be concerned about that.

KARVELAS: Within a week?

O'NEIL: It will be roughly within that time frame.

ABC RN Drive, 4 February 2019

Before the Final Report of the Royal Commission was released, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said:

“Your default position should be if the Royal Commission recommends it, it shall be done.” You need “a very, very, very good reason” not to adopt any finding.

The Australian Financial Review, 23 January 2019

Now, all we get from the Labor Party is an “in principle” response, a vague promise for a “more detailed” response within “roughly” a week which has now long passed. The Australian people deserve better and that is why the Government has responded in full, is taking action on all 76 recommendations and is getting on with the job.