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Labor confusion and incompetence delays proxy voting changes

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Media Release Senator Mathias Cormann Shadow Assistant Treasurer Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation

12/0402/PK 2 April 2012

Labor confusion and incompetence delays proxy voting changes

Labor’s confusion and paralysis have reached new levels with Parliamentary Secretary Bernie Ripoll calling on the Coalition to urgently vote for a Bill which Mr Ripoll himself has previously said should not be supported in its current form.

In December 2011 a Parliamentary Joint Committee chaired by Mr Ripoll unanimously recommended that the Consumer Credit and Corporations Legislation Amendment (Enhancement) Bill 2011 not be passed in its current form.

The PJC was specifically concerned with schedules 3 and 4 of that Bill which related to proposed changes to payday lending.

The PJC and the Coalition had no problem with the rest of the Bill including proposed changes to the way proxy votes are cast by the chair in executive remuneration resolutions.

The Coalition remains supportive of the proxy voting changes and other aspects of the Bill apart from the problematic schedules 3 and 4.

It is Labor that has delayed the passage of these changes over the past 4 months.

All they need to do is to remove schedules 3 and 4 of the Bill so they can be reconsidered, as unanimously recommended by Bernie Ripoll’s committee, and bring the rest of the Bill to Parliament for a vote.

Their failure to do so highlights the continued confusion, policy paralysis and incompetence of this floundering government that has had a revolving door of five Assistant Treasurers in five years.

Now the left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing.

Despite being handled by the succession of Assistant Treasurers in the past, these important changes have now been delegated to a Parliamentary Secretary who seems to not know what delays have occurred before him but has also forgotten his own views and recommendations on these changes.

Mr Ripoll’s call for the Coalition to pass a Bill he has clearly said should not be supported in its current form verges on the comical and reaches a new low even by this government’s standards.

Rather than taking cheap shots at the Coalition, Bernie Ripoll should get his government to do what the committee he chaired recommended they should do.

MEDIA CONTACT: Senator Cormann 0411 874 546