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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 235

Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (11:05): The Treasurer, frankly, just misled the House. The reason we are here is that we were the ones who initiated this reform process. We were the ones who referred this to CAMAC. It was because of the work at CAMAC that we got here. And what happened?

Mr Taylor: What did you actually do?

Mr HUSIC: I will take the interjection from the assistant minister. I do not know why he is here, frankly, as he has enough of a tech-wreck going on, on his side. His DTA is unable to fix the census, the ATO, Centrelink and now child support, but he now wants to interject while he is not out there fixing that tech-wreck. The fact of the matter is that Labor referred this to CAMAC. Labor wanted the framework to be established that would allow this to happen back in 2013. One year after that, in 2014, you had the ability to do it and now—two years later—we are here. The reason this bill has had to change is that we highlighted that after they had done all this great consultation they brought in a bill that is still stuffed and flawed, and we had to fix it up. We had to fix up the assets and turnover capital. We had to press them on that. We had to press them on the fact that that bill was still going to constrict small businesses from actually accessing the regime. You have still got today people saying that this bill in its current form will prevent 99.7 per cent of small businesses from accessing this regime that that Treasurer there wants to bring in.

So the reality is: they have constantly stuffed it up and what they are bringing in is a half-baked effort that they know they will have to fix. They are going to have two regimes in place: they will have this one that does not allow anyone to use it and another one that will, and then they are going to allow that regime to be in place. Everybody knows that the second regime, the one they should be bringing in right now, is what they should be doing. But why don't you have the ability to get it right the first time? Because they are coming back. They know they have to fix this bill up. They know it and they cannot tell you when they are actually going to do it.

The other thing I flagged yesterday is in the context of the Treasury laws amendment that is dealing with changes to employee share schemes. You have got one regime that will prevent disclosure documents from being in the public domain, if an employee share scheme is extended by a firm. If that firm decides to use equity crowdfunding as a platform for extra capital, then they will have to have a public disclosure document. So you are going to have to have two different regimes on reporting for investors in measures that are being put forward in this House. They clearly have not even thought comprehensively about the type of things they are putting forward and they just want to rush this through.

What you are trying, Treasurer, to do now is to push this through and bringing in this regime you know is fundamentally flawed. At its heart, it is weak. At its heart, it is unable to deliver the capital that is required for these start-ups. I have already quoted the start-ups as saying, 'It is nuts, effectively, for us even to contemplate turning ourselves into a public company to do this.' And the ones that are telling us, Treasurer, to do that are the ones that are resigned. They know they are not going to get anywhere with you and they just want this through, because they just know you are not going to deliver. That is the reality.

So when are you going to bring the regime in—the proper one, the one that should be debated by this parliament? How are you going to deal with the conflict on disclosure statements between two different pieces of legislation you have got in this House? When are you going to make that happen? When are you actually going to ensure that when this is in place that people can have the systems developed and not have to be modified, because of something subsequent that is being brought in? It would be interesting to get actual detail as to when you are going to do that, because at this stage it is missing.