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Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Page: 1534

Mr BOWEN (Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law and Minister for Human Services) (4:52 PM) —in reply—I thank the member for Cowper and the member for Moreton for their contributions and I acknowledge the support of the opposition for this bill. The purpose of the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment Bill 2010 is to amend the Commonwealth’s recently enacted national consumer credit legislation to ensure an effective referral of power from the states to the Commonwealth in relation to consumer credit. This bill will provide the flexibility sought by the states to enable them to refer their powers for consumer credit regulation to the Commonwealth.

In particular, this bill amends the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 to recognise certain exclusions to the scope of the amendment power in the state referral bills and to enable an effective reference of the state power to be made either with or without any exclusions to that power. The bill will also allow the states to refer their regulatory powers in relation to consumer credit by adopting the Commonwealth’s national consumer credit legislation. Following the Commonwealth’s enactment of this bill, the states wishing to refer powers, excluding certain subject matters or using the adoption approach, will be able to do so by enacting their referral bills. As I noted in my second reading speech to this bill, the scope and effectiveness of the national credit protection regime will not be affected by any such variation to the referral or whether states refer or adopt the national credit legislation.

I am pleased to say that we are close to realising our vision of a single national credit regulatory framework. The development of this landmark reform has only been possible through the commitment of the Commonwealth and the state and territory governments, working in a spirit of cooperation, to realise this important COAG reform—a single, uniform, national consumer credit law, which is so important for productivity, efficiency and consumer protection. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.