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Conniving Coalition falls into a trap of its own making

COMMENT

The Coalition is reaping what it sowed. It has repeatedly treated the Parliament with contempt in its effort to neuter parts of Labor's financial advice laws before they had full force on July 1.

Rather than put changes before the Parliament as an amendment to Labor's act, it introduced them by regulation when the Parliament wasn't sitting. It was aware of legal advice from Arnold Bloch Leibler that they would not survive a challenge in the High Court. Regulations are meant to assist the implementation of acts, not to nullify them.

Labor alleges that Treasury sent a copy of the regulations to the Senate tabling office on July 1 and then attempted to withdraw them, saying it didn't want them tabled until the last possible date, next Tuesday, July 15. What is not tabled cannot be disallowed.

Directed by a vote of the Senate to table the regulations immediately, the Minister, Mathias Cormann, refused. Cynics suggest he was trying to delay the process long enough to get through to the five-week parliamentary break and then accuse the Senate of creating uncertainty when it tried to exercise its rights.

Then Labor's Senator Sam Dastyari pulled a stunt, one worthy of Cormann himself.

He read from the regulations and had a Labor senator demand that he table the document he was reading from.

In the confusion the motion passed with the help of the Greens and a handful of independents. On Monday Labor will give notice of a motion to strike the regulations down. If it succeeds, consumers will be protected in the way Parliament originally intended. It will have got around the workaround.

Twitter: @1petermartin

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86 comments

  • It is not just the Parliament that the Coalition holds in contempt.

    It is not the first party that refused to release its policies before the election because it knew that people would reject them. But it is probably the first party to convince us that it would do the opposite of what it intended to do.

    Commenter
    Ross
    Location
    MALLABULA
    Date and time
    July 11, 2014, 7:42AM
    • It's the Australian voters who continue to all into the trap. First the Australian Deomcrats, then the Greens and now PUP. The mandate to have the mandate. It's a fools paradise isn't it Ross?

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Date and time
      July 11, 2014, 9:20AM
    • The fools are we the voters who fell for Abbott's lies. Onya Clive - keep the bastard honest

      Commenter
      EIEIO and away we go with spin
      Date and time
      July 11, 2014, 9:59AM
    • One of the first things the Liberal Party did when elected was to announce a deregulation of the banking and finance industry even though the commissions to advisers scandal was simmering in the background. Joe Hockey (whose mother-in-law was ripped off but refunded) and Arthur Sinodinos (ex bank executive) decided that the general public didn't need anymore protection from these commission fee practices even though thousands of people lost their investments. Both of these gentlemen were fund-raisers for the Liberal Party.
      Even though the Liberal Party have held Royal Commissions into union corruption and roof insulation they have refused to hold one into the finance and banking industry. Why?

      Commenter
      Darcy
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 11, 2014, 10:18AM
    • EIE - I don't remember Conman coming out before the election saying that he was going to screw over investors in favour of propping up bank profits.

      Besides, EVERY party has a mandate - not just the government.

      Commenter
      ST
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 11, 2014, 10:33AM
    • The government's contempt for parliament is the same as their contempt for investors contained in their FoFA amendments.

      Commenter
      Tristan Shout
      Date and time
      July 11, 2014, 10:43AM
    • Oh, by the way does anyone know what happened to Arthur Sinodinos (you remember him - the one that couldn't remember anything at the ICAC Hearing, chairman of AWH). Is he still in parliament? Is he still representing his electorate? I know his Assistant Treasurer job has been taken over by Mathias (it's der Labor Party's fault) Cormann - but I was just wondering what happened to poor old Arthur!

      Commenter
      Darcy
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 11, 2014, 2:06PM
    • @Darcy, I was watching the Senate the other day (as you do), and there was Uncle Arfur on the back bench, looking somewhat crestfallen as Mr M Conman played the role of the "STILL Acting Finance Minister", as Sam Dastyari delighted in calling him.
      So fear not, he is alive and kicking....well, almost.

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 11, 2014, 3:27PM
  • We were all told the adults would be in charge once the LNP were voted in. These "adults" appear to be unable to tell the difference between acts and regulations and how they function. This pathetic mob could not govern a pre-school. We have to put up with this until 2016. I hope they have not irreversibly wrecked Australia by then. Even if our country, society, economy and budget get through, we are going to suffer a severe set back.

    Commenter
    gt
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 11, 2014, 7:43AM
    • So you want the Labor/Green/anything party to return? Clearly you don't understand the need to budget and reduce debt, plan and implement policies and have a one leader party.

      Commenter
      B.W. from the Shire
      Location
      Cronulla
      Date and time
      July 11, 2014, 9:07AM

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