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Opposition surprised by ASX decision -

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ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Opposition says this announcement has come as a surprise.

Chris Pearce, the Opposition's spokesman on financial services, superannuation and corporate law
says the Coalition will need to see more detail on the proposed changes before it decides on
whether to support them.

Mr Pearce told Sabra Lane that Australia's system of market supervision had been regarded as one of
the best in the world.

CHRIS PEARCE: Well, this is a decision that has taken a lot of people by surprise I've got to say.
There has been no public consultation in and around this issue that anybody has known about and
certainly people from the broader community have not had the chance to actually make comment on
this particular issue.

So we await the draft legislation that is being proposed. Like many decisions, the devil is in the
detail and so we look forward to seeing the draft legislation in and around this decision.

SABRA LANE: From the limited information that has been released this morning, it looks like ASIC
will supervise individual trades through these markets but on the Australian Stock Exchange. The
ASX will still be in charge of regulating the entities even though it is a listed entity on the
ASX. Are you comfortable with that?

CHRIS PEARCE: Well, there will be some clarity needed I think in and around this decision because
that is right. My understanding on the limited information available is that ASIC will assume the
responsibility for the supervision of what is commonly known as real time trading whereas the ASX
itself will continue to oversee the supervision of entities that are listed on its own exchange.

So there is some clarity that is needed but this is a decision that I said I think the devil will
be in the detail of the legislation. We look forward to seeing that actual detail to see how this
particular announcement will actually work in practical terms.

SABRA LANE: Have there been problems in monitoring trades?

CHRIS PEARCE: In point of fact, I would say to you that the way that the Australian market has
worked over the years has actually been a world leading example of market supervision. I know when
I was parliamentary secretary to the treasurer in the last government that there were many examples
of where the Australian Stock Exchange as it was then called and its supervisory functions were
actually world leading.

So I think that this is a decision that is taking some functions from one entity and moving it to
another entity. That is fine if that is what the Government wants to do; but I think all
participants in the market will be very interested in seeing the actual legislation so that we can
all get a better idea how it will actually work.

SABRA LANE: Just on your own side of politics, Chris Pearce, Malcolm Turnbull may have been hoping
that the Government pressure on him would ease with Parliament on a two-week break. What do you
make of these stories that have been confirmed by former Labor leader, Kim Beazley and former Prime
Minister Bob Hawke that Malcolm Turnbull approached the Labor Party about joining them?

CHRIS PEARCE: Well, I'm not focused on those stories at all and I am sure that Malcolm isn't. What
Malcolm and what we in the Liberal Party are focused on doing is holding the Rudd Labor Government
to account. This is a government that must be held to account for its spending decisions and for
its decisions - and so that is what we are focused on.

I think that is what people in my electorate want me to be focused on and I am sure that is what
they want Malcolm Turnbull to be focused on.

SABRA LANE: How difficult is that job though given that the Coalition is not completely united?
We've got the Nationals saying they'll never vote for an emissions trading scheme. Barnaby Joyce
has been quite outspoken on that. Surely that undermines the Liberals, Malcolm Turnbull and any
chance that the Coalition has of winning the next election?

CHRIS PEARCE: Well, I think Malcolm Turnbull is doing a great job as our Liberal Leader. I support
Malcolm Turnbull entirely. I think he is keeping the Labor Government to account. That is his job.
That is the job of all of us.

And the job of all of us in Parliament is to make sure that Kevin Rudd and the Government is kept
to account for their decisions and that is what I am focused on.

SABRA LANE: You must be pretty happy that you are retiring at the next election, Chris Pearce?

CHRIS PEARCE: Well, it is a very difficult decision then. In a lot of ways I am very sad that I
will be retiring from politics. It is a decision that I have made with the best interests of my
family in mind.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the Opposition's spokesman on financial services, Chris Pearce, speaking to
Sabra Lane in Canberra.