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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1767

Mr DICK (Oxley) (10:29): I second the motion. I rise to put on the record that the reckless conduct of payday lenders has gone on long enough. I want to thank the member for Perth and members on this side of the chamber, who have been leading this fight to protect vulnerable Australians. I acknowledge in the chamber today the member for Barton, the member for Scullin and the member for Gellibrand. Every single Labor member recognises that it is time to take action to protect families, young people and pensioners who are being ripped off by loan sharks who are exploiting an industry which preys upon vulnerable people as the cost of living drastically increases under this government.

As we've heard, 1.8 million households are now financially distressed and over 650,000 families have turned to payday loans just to get by. These figures have doubled in the past decade and are rapidly increasing at pace under this government. With flatlining wages, insecure work and rising inequality, it's time the government started doing what they said they would do, instead of being rolled by the hard Right, which we are seeing time and time again with the dysfunction and chaos inside the government. It is vulnerable Australians who are now paying the price. Those opposite need to answer a very simple question: do they think it's fair that a mother of two young children with a weekly income of $488 has been signed up to contracts for whitegoods worth $1,600 with a total repayment of a whopping $5,824? An elderly gentleman on a disability support pension of $456 per week was duped into a contract for $2,041 on a consumer lease and repayments with a grand total of $7,790. That is not fair. It is wrong.

The government know this. Their own recommendations have said this. What's changed? It's the hard Right of the Liberal and National parties, which is rolling the assistant minister. We know that because the government have committed to this legislation. So, today, government members have a real choice: will they stand by this legislation which has been endorsed by the cabinet of this country? Will they stand by it? This legislation is the government's own bill, sentence for sentence, line for line. It is time that they started standing up for vulnerable Australians and protecting those people who need protection, instead of rolling over for the loan sharks in this country.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Rob Mitchell ): The time allotted for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.