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Thursday, 22 November 2012
Page: 9513

Senator CORMANN (Western Australia) (13:17): I am back! The coalition will support the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Derivative Transactions) Bill 2012. This bill provides the legislative framework to meet Australia's G20 obligations in relation to over-the-counter derivative reforms.

The bill amends five existing pieces of legislation: the APRA Act 1988, the ASIC Act 2001, the Corporations Act 2001, the Mutual Assistance in Business Regulation Act 1992 and the Reserve Bank Act 1959. This bill is a key step in Australia meeting its G20 obligations regarding the transparency of over-the-counter derivative markets. The bill does not impose, in our view, onerous regulation; rather, it provides powers to the regulatory bodies to examine over-the-counter markets and to recommend actions to the minister to increase transparency in market mechanisms should they deem that to be necessary.

The goal is to enhance the integrity and safety of the derivatives markets in particular and the financial system as a whole. The coalition is pleased that this bill was amended in the House so that, for matters relating to the energy sector, the Minister for Resources and Energy has to be consulted prior to the making of regulations, the mandating of derivatives or consenting to an ASIC rule. In doing so, the government heeded the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services' inquiry into this bill, which recognised the real and genuine concerns of the electricity sector in that regard.

With those few words, the coalition will support this bill.