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Monday, 22 September 2008
Page: 8071

Mr TURNBULL (2:40 PM) —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer to reports that the Prime Minister will take proposals for solving the global economic crisis with him to New York. Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that the credibility of his proposals will be diminished by the confusion and delay on the Australian stock market today caused by his government’s incompetent handling of the limitations on short selling?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —On the question of short selling, contrary to the dismissiveness of those opposite who do not seem to regard legislation as all that important, let alone other forms of immediate action, the circumstances are as the Treasurer outlined before. Firstly, actions were undertaken by the United States and UK regulatory authorities on short selling last week. Secondly, they were expanded in their scope at the very end of last week, requiring, therefore, further action on behalf of the Australian regulators. Failure to act on this, and failure to act on it responsibly, would have exposed Australian financial stocks and stocks in general to massive manipulation on the part of international speculative investors. We in the government were not prepared to countenance that course of action. I am surprised that those opposite seem to be so prepared.