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Turning our backs on a bad policy

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Media Release Andrew Broad Member for Mallee

Email Media contact: Kirsten Lloyd

Web Email

Phone 1300 131 620 Phone 0418 445 233

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


When the Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, rose to speak in Parliament on Monday night,

he did so with some fire in his belly, taking aim at a ‘disgraceful’ Labor policy which he said he

was ‘proud’ to see being amended by the current Government.

“In 2012, the then Labor Government implemented a policy that took the hard earned savings

of ordinary Australians, out of their bank accounts and into the hands of the Government.

“The money was set aside for a rainy day, money for funerals, money for future farming

crops, money for sporting clubs and cemetery trusts. However, if that money sat in an

account for more than three years untouched, the Government decided it was no longer

needed and took it.

“This policy, which hit at the very heart of people’s financial security, was devised by the

Labor Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, the same man who is now the

Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten.

“This man, who claims to represent hardworking Australians, pushed and implemented a

policy that took away their savings.”

Mr. Broad said he was proud to be a part of a Government that is ‘righting the wrong’ and

changing the Banking Laws Amendment (Unclaimed Money), to reaffirm that ‘if money is in

your bank account, it’s your money, not the government’s’.

In discussing the amendment, Mr. Broad said that the policy that Mr. Shorten implemented

was poorly publicised, meaning most people were unaware that accounts that were

untouched for three years were deemed ‘unclaimed’ and the funds could be transferred into

government accounts.

Mr. Broad said this had significant consequences for many people.

“A grain farmer in my electorate had set money aside to put in a crop. He went to get the

money to pay for the fertiliser to seed the crop in May and it was gone, he couldn’t get it until

August. Anyone who knows anything about grain growing knows he missed the window.

Think about that.

“I rarely criticise the other side but this was the worst policy. The grain grower couldn’t put a

crop in, the bank wouldn’t loan him the money and it took him six months to claw his own

money back from the government but it was too late. He’d lost the farm.

Media Release Andrew Broad Member for Mallee

Email Media contact: Kirsten Lloyd

Web Email

Phone 1300 131 620 Phone 0418 445 233

“How does this sit with Australians? How does it sit that in tough times, Labor and Bill Shorten

decided your money was their money?

“Your savings, the farmers’ savings, your children’s savings, Mr. Shorten thought it was his

for the taking. What is that teaching us? His policy told Australians not to save, not to leave

money to accumulate because if you did, you might wake up one day to discover your money

is no longer yours.”

Whilst people who had their money taken were able to reclaim it, the process was lengthy,

often taking months and involved a great deal of paperwork.

The current Coalition Government has been determined to reverse Mr. Shorten’s unclaimed

money policy, to restore people’s confidence in long term savings bank accounts.

“Australians should be confident that they can put money in the bank and it will be their

savings; that it will be respected and it will be safe.

“We are currently still facing challenging economic conditions but we are reversing this law

because it’s morally wrong,” Mr. Broad said.