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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12546

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongAssistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation) (17:52): In summing up, the government would like to thank those honourable members who have taken part in the debate on the Corporations (Fees) Amendment Bill 2011 and I note the opposition have just indicated that they will not be opposing this bill.

The amendments in this bill will provide the legislative basis to allow the government to recover the costs of financial supervision from industry in a more efficient and equitable way, given the emergence of competition between financial market operators in Australia. I agree with the member for Fraser that the government's longstanding commitment to competition in financial services will help facilitate innovation, efficiency and reduce costs, ultimately improving the Australian financial market and benefiting Australian investors.

Competition in Australian financial markets will deliver better returns for investors by giving them more choice and better prices. This is expected to attract new players, new trading strategies and new liquidity. The benefits of competition have started being realised through Chi-X's announcement of a competitive trading fee schedule and its launch into competition with the ASX on Monday, 31 October.

While this bill makes minor changes to the Corporation Act 2001, its purpose is to allow for regulations to be made which reflect a post-competition cost recovery arrangement. The Corporations (Fees) Regulations 2001 will be amended to prescribe the fee amounts and the method for calculating fees to apply from 1 January 2012. Public consultation is currently underway regarding a proposed structure for these fees.

The opposition has unfortunately alleged that the government has not undertaken a proper consultation process. Let me set the record straight. The government issued a detailed consultation paper in August this year for a four-week consultation period. The government received 13 submissions to this. The government also undertook direct discussions with some stakeholders, including both market operators and significant market participant representatives. In addition, the government further issued draft regulations for a two-week consultation period; this ended on 31 October. We received a total of two submissions in response to this.

By allowing market participants as well as market operators to share the costs for the provision of supervisory services by ASIC, the bill enables the costs of market supervision to be borne by those to whom the costs directly relate in accordance with the cost recovery principles endorsed by this government and previous governments. The alignment of the costs with the entities which have caused the need for these costs will allow for independent and self-funding supervision of Australian financial markets to continue and maintain the quality and independence of Australia's financial market regulatory oversight. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.