SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
TIM HAMMOND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PERTH
ONE YEAR OF INACTION NOT GOOD ENOUGH
Calls for urgent action by consumer advocates today are a reminder that Malcolm Turnbull and his Government continue to let-down Australians who are being preyed upon by short term credit lenders.
In the year since the Turnbull Government received a report urging action to reform small amount credit contracts the Prime Minister has failed to respond and protect vulnerable consumers being ripped off.
Labor believes that ensuring proper regulation of small amount credit contracts and consumer leases and protecting consumers from predatory lending behaviour should be worthy of the urgent attention of this Government.
Labor, when in government, enacted the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 which implemented a national regime for the regulation of consumer credit for the first time. In 2012, Labor made further enhancements to this regime, including additional protections regarding small amount credit contracts and consumer leases, in response to growing concerns about improper behaviour by payday lenders.
In the recent Senate Estimates it was revealed that small amount credit contract reforms were not even on the legislative drafting program:
Senator Gallagher: And it hasn’t started for those - the drafting hasn’t started for those: credit cards and small amount credit contracts?
Treasury Official: We’re not currently drafting that legislation, no. – Senate Estimates, Wednesday March 1, 2017.
Inaction is not an option on this important area of consumer protection.
Labor joins with consumer advocacy organisations today to call on the Turnbull Government to step up and protect vulnerable Australians from predatory lending practices as a matter of priority.