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6       Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First—Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath)—That this bill be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

Question put and passed.

Bill read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bill.

 

 

 

In the committee

Bill taken as a whole by leave.

Explanatory memorandum : The Minister for Finance (Senator Cormann) tabled a supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to the government amendments to be moved to the bill.

On the motion of Senator Cormann the following amendments, taken together by leave, were debated and agreed to:

Clause 2, page 2 (table item 3, column 1), omit “33”, substitute “32”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 8 (after line 18) , after paragraph  1051 ( 3 )( d ), insert:

                            (da)  the operator’s constitution provides that the Chair of the board of the operator must be an independent person; and

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 19 (after line 28) , after section  1054B , insert:

1054BA   Power to give directions

     (1)   AFCA may, in connection with, or as part of the process of, determining a superannuation complaint:

                              (a)  give directions prohibiting or restricting the disclosure of documents or information relating to the complaint; and

                              (b)  give directions as to who may be present at any meeting held by AFCA relating to the complaint.

     (2)   In giving directions, AFCA must have regard to the wishes of the parties in relation to the complaint and the need to protect their privacy.

     (3)   Directions may be made in writing or orally.

     (4)   A person must not refuse or fail to comply with a direction under this section.

Penalty:    30 penalty units.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 2 2 (line 4) , at the end of paragraph  1055 ( 6 )( c ), add:

                                           or (iv)   cancel the complainant’s membership of the life policy fund or of any sub-plan of the fund;

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 24 (line 8) , omit “ the payment of ”.

Schedule 1 , item 2 , page 24 (line 12) , omit “ the person received, from the decision-maker, ”, substitute “ the decision-maker gave the person ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 24 (line 16) , omit “ receiving ”, substitute “ being given ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 24 (line 18) , omit “ receiving ”, substitute “ being given ”.

Schedule 1 , item 2 , page 24 (line 20) , omit “ the person received, from the decision-maker, ”, substitute “ the decision-maker gave the person ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 24 (line 24) , omit “ receiving ”, substitute “ being given ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 24 (line 26) , omit “ receiving ”, substitute “ being given ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 24 (line 27) , omit “ received ”, substitute “ been given ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 24 (line 32) , omit “ the payment of ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 24 (line 34) , omit “ receive ”, substitute “ be given ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 25 (line 11) , omit “ the payment of ”.

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 25 (line 18) , omit “ receives ”, substitute “is given ”.

On the motion of Senator Cormann the following amendment was debated and agreed to:

Page 3 (after line 5) , after clause  3 , insert:

4   Review of operation of amendments

     (1)   The Minister must cause an independent review of the operation of the amendments made by this Act to be undertaken as soon as practicable after 18 months after the day on and after which, under item 58 of Schedule 1 to this Act, the amendments made by Part 4 of Schedule 1 to this Act apply.

     (2)   The review must take into account feedback, provided by complainants under the AFCA scheme (within the meaning of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001 as amended by this Act), relating to whether their complaints were resolved in a way that was fair, efficient, timely and independent.

Note:         Paragraph 1051(4)(b) of the Corporations Act 2001 as amended by this Act provides that one of the operational requirements for the AFCA scheme is that complaints against members of the scheme are resolved in a way that is fair, efficient, timely and independent.

     (3)   The review must also specifically examine the appropriateness of limits on:

                              (a)  the value of claims that may be made under the AFCA scheme (within the meaning of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001 as amended by this Act); and

                              (b)  the value of remedies that may be determined under that scheme;

in relation to disputes about credit facilities provided to primary production businesses, including agriculture, fisheries and forestry businesses.

     (4)   The Minister must cause a written report about the review to be prepared.

     (5)   The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the report is given to the Minister.

     (6)   The report is not a legislative instrument.

Question—That the bill, as amended, be agreed to—divided, at the request of Senator Cameron, in respect of Schedule 1, items 5 to 10, 12, 15 to 30, 42, 43, 45, 46 and 52 to 57; Schedule 3; and Schedule 1, item 2, Division 3, as amended.

Schedule, items and Division debated.

Question—That Schedule 1, items 5 to 10, 12, 15 to 30, 42, 43, 45, 46 and 52 to 57; and Schedule 3 stand as printed; and Schedule 1, item 2, Division 3, as amended, be agreed to—put.

The committee divided—

AYES, 31

Senators—

Abetz

Duniam

Hume

Payne

Birmingham

Fawcett

Leyonhjelm

Reynolds

Brockman

Fierravanti-Wells

Macdonald

Ruston

Burston

Fifield

McGrath

Ryan

Bushby

Georgiou

McKenzie

Seselja

Canavan

Gichuhi

O’Sullivan

Smith*

Cash

Griff

Paterson

Williams

Cormann

Hanson

Patrick

 

 

 

NOES, 32

Senators—

Bartlett

Di Natale

Lines

Rice

Bernardi

Dodson

McAllister

Siewert

Brown

Farrell

McCarthy

Singh

Cameron

Gallacher

McKim

Steele-John

Carr

Hanson-Young

Moore

Sterle

Chisholm

Hinch

O’Neill

Urquhart*

Collins

Ketter

Pratt

Watt

Dastyari

Kitching

Rhiannon

Whish-Wilson

* Tellers

Schedule, items and Division negatived ( but see below ).

On the motion of Senator Cameron the following amendments, taken together by leave, were agreed to ( but see below ):

Clause  2 , page 2 (table item  8 ), omit the table item.

Schedule 1 , item 1 , page 5 (lines 33 and 34) , omit the definition of superannuation complaint in section  761A , substitute:

superannuation complaint has the same meaning as complaint in the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 .

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 9 (line 10) , omit “ scheme; and ”, substitute “ scheme. ”.

Schedule 1 , item 2 , page 9 (lines 11 to 18) , omit paragraph 1051 ( 4 )( f ) (including the note).

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 13 (lines 8 to 10) , omit paragraph 1052E ( 1 )( b ).

Schedule  1 , item  2 , page 13 (lines 18 to 29) , omit subsection  1052E(2) .

Schedule  1 , page 29 (line 9) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 31 (line 11) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 32 (line 6) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 32 (line 19) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 33 (lines 9 to 10) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 33 (line 28) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 34 (line 25) , omit the heading.

Schedule 1 , item 31 , page 36 (lines 18 and 19) , omit “ 13, 14 and 29 ”, substitute “ 13 and 14 ”.

Schedule 1 , item 32 , page 37 (line 6) , at the end of paragraph 912A ( 2 )( c ), add “ (unless all of the complaints against the licensee, made by retail clients in connection with the provision of the financial services covered by the licence, may be dealt with by the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal established by section 6 of the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1983 ”.

Schedule 1 , item 33 , page 37 (line 9) , at the end of paragraph 1017G ( 2 )( c ), add “ (unless all of the complaints against the person required to have the system, made by retail clients in relation to financial services provided in relation to any of those products, may be dealt with by the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal established by section 6 of the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1983 ”.

Schedule  1 , page 38 (line 15) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 38 (line 22) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 40 (line 3) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 40 (line 9) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 41 (lines 9 to 10) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 41 (line 21) , omit the heading.

Schedule  1 , page 42 (line 1) , omit the heading.

Bill, as amended, debated.

At the request of Senator Cormann, the questions on the Schedule, items and Division negatived earlier, and on the consequential amendments moved by Senator Cameron, were put again, by leave.

Question—That Schedule 1, items 5 to 10, 12, 15 to 30, 42, 43, 45, 46 and 52 to 57; and Schedule 3 stand as printed; and Schedule 1, item 2, Division 3, as amended, be agreed to—put.

The committee divided—

AYES, 33

Senators—

Abetz

Duniam

Hume

Payne

Anning

Fawcett

Leyonhjelm

Reynolds

Birmingham

Fierravanti-Wells

Macdonald

Ruston

Brockman

Fifield

McGrath

Ryan

Burston

Georgiou

McKenzie

Scullion

Bushby

Gichuhi

O’Sullivan

Seselja

Canavan

Griff

Paterson

Smith*

Cash

Hanson

Patrick

Williams

Cormann

 

 

 

NOES, 32

Senators—

Bartlett

Di Natale

Lines

Rice

Bernardi

Dodson

McAllister

Siewert

Brown

Farrell

McCarthy

Singh

Cameron

Gallacher

McKim

Steele-John

Carr

Hanson-Young

Moore

Sterle

Chisholm

Hinch

O’Neill

Urquhart*

Collins

Ketter

Pratt

Watt

Dastyari

Kitching

Rhiannon

Whish-Wilson

* Tellers

Schedule, items and Division agreed to.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and negatived.

 

 

 

After 12.45 pm : The Deputy President (Senator Lines) resumed the chair and the Chair of Committees reported progress.