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Wednesday, 31 March 1965

Senator COOKE (Western Australia) . - I agree with what Senator Wright has said. The Minister stated that he wants to have the greatest flexibility in relation to the administration of the proposed Act, that he does not want the Corporation to be impeded in any way, and that the Government would find it very difficult to state precisely the definition of " approved lender" or to state a rate of interest It is interesting to note that in practically every State of Australia there is an act which governs money lenders. No difficulty is experienced in administering the act. It states the type of person who can lend money and the interest rates at which he is to lend it. His character has to be established. All those matters are essential, not only for the borrower, but for the lender and the insurer. 1 do not place much reliance on the Minister's statement that the Government does not wish to state in the Act a clear and distinct definition of what constitutes an approved lender and what the maximum rate of interest will be. I think that it is a very loose way in which to draft legislation. It leaves the position wide open and some people in the community could be prejudiced merely because the Minister or the Corporation is not prepared to approve a potential lender.

Why is it not possible to write into the Bill provisions similar to those which are written into the legislation relating to money lenders which give the widest possible scope to persons prepared to lend money and at the same time give adequate and proper legal protection to people who borrow from, these approved lenders of money? When all is said and done, they are really money, lenders.

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