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Wednesday, 31 March 1965

Senator MURPHY (New South Wales) . - I think the provision for an approved lender in the definition clause, clause 4, is a wise and proper provision. The arguments that have been advanced against this have mostly been concerned not with the definition of an approved lender but with matters which properly arise under the following clause, clause 5. There is nothing in the definition with which we are at present concerned which brings in the notion of an approved lender being a person included in an approved class of lenders. That comes in under clause 5 and has to be dealt with under that clause.

Senator Wright - If this fails it certainly will be.

Senator MURPHY - I think this should not fail because there is a good reason for having provisions dealing with approved lenders. One leaves aside for the moment the question of classes, and I think Senator Wright would agree that it does not arise at the moment but arises under clause 5.

You deal simply with the situation of approved lenders, and of course you should have approved lenders. Whether there is a definition such as this or not the Corporation may still determine whether it will approve of a particular contract and whether it will enter into a particular transaction.

Senator Wright - Yes, but it may do that only if the class approved by the Minister is involved.

Senator MURPHY - But that does not arise under this clause. 1 am dealing with the question whether there should be approved lenders or not, and I say there should be approved lenders. I think Senator Wright is well aware that the approach I am making to this is correct, and a lot of the considerations to which he adverts do not relate at all to his amendment. The question of class or no class has nothing to do with his amendment; it arises under the next clause. Should there be approved lenders? Yes, there should be approved lenders, not for the protection of the Corporation as such, because it can always decide whether it wants to enter into a particular transaction, but for the protection of the public.

The approved lenders are persons who are to be ultimately notified publicly, and there is a protection for the public because in the world of lending which is associated with the purchase of homes there are rogues, just as there are in other fields. It is important that persons dealing with estate agents and others should know where they stand. Very often a person is induced to enter into some transaction on the pretence that everything is in order as the arrangements will ultimately be approved by the Insurance Corporation, and so on. It is very important for members of the public to know that they are dealing with a person who is an approved lender, a person whose name has been notified publicly. It gives them some assurance in entering into a transaction to know that they are dealing with a person who is an approved type. The insurance of this kind of transaction will become an important part of the business of borrowing and lending, and I think there should be approved lenders. Whether they should come within a class and whether there ought to be limits on that class, are other questions, but I think there certainly should be approved lenders under this legislation. This is material to the scheme of the measure and I think it would be unwise to have this removed.

Let me say that I have heard no real argument advanced so far why this definition should be removed. Whatever may be the situation under the following clause, I have heard no real reason advanced why this should be removed.

Senator Wood - How would the honorable senator get an approved lending authority under the next clause?

Senator MURPHY - The next clause, clause 5, may involve matters which may give rise to objection, but as far as clause 4 is concerned I have heard no real argument at all advanced as to why the definition of approved lender should be deleted from it.

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