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Monday, 26 October 2009
Page: 7111


Senator CONROY (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) (8:58 PM) —I thank all those who have made contributions to this debate. The National Consumer Credit Protection Bill 2009 and related bills give effect to the historic agreement made by the Council of Australian Governments in October 2008 for the Australian government to take over responsibility for the regulation of consumer credit. The related bills are the National Consumer Credit Protection (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2009, which sets out the transitional and consequential arrangements to support the transfer of the regulation of credit from the states and territories to the Commonwealth, and the National Consumer Credit Protection (Fees) Bill 2009, which enables the imposition of fees, as taxes, for activities covered by the credit bill and the transitional bill.

These bills together will provide a better framework for consumer credit in Australia. The bills are part of COAG’s vision for a seamless economy. This package will provide the foundation for the first single, standard and nationally consistent regime for consumer credit regulation and oversight in this country. The bills introduce a national licensing regime for people engaging in credit activities, and the first comprehensive responsible lending conduct requirements—replacing the state based uniform consumer credit code, which operates inconsistently across the eight jurisdictions—will reduce red tape, duplication and compliance costs for businesses. I note that the bills rely, in part, on the anticipated referral of legislation from the states. As I said, I thank all of those who have participated in this debate.

Question agreed to.

Bills read a second time.