House debates

Monday, 18 June 2018

Statements by Members

Banking and Financial Services

1:32 pm

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Oxley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Every day, while this government sits by and does nothing, hundreds of thousands of Australians are continuing to be ripped off by payday loan sharks. I refer to Fairfax media on the weekend, which outlined the government's incompetence and reluctance in dealing with this matter. It's been 1,046 days since they first signalled their intent to do something about this out-of-control industry, and we're yet to see any meaningful action by this government. We're seeing Australians forced to pay outrageous interest rates of almost 900 per cent.

I remind the House that we did see a glimmer of hope from those opposite when they released their draft legislation, but we know that the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services was quickly rolled on the issue. I refer to media over the weekend, which quite rightly pointed out that this side of the chamber led by Bill Shorten eventually put legislation on this issue to the parliament, but not a single coalition MP rose to support it. Now things are spiralling out of control. We're seeing reports of automatic loan machines popping up in suburban shopping centres, allowing some of Australia's most disadvantaged communities to take out loans worth thousands of dollars with their bank cards.

We know it's going to take the leadership of a Shorten Labor government to fix this mess and stop vulnerable Australians being ripped off by loan sharks. Today I call on the government to bring forward legislation on this matter and protect vulnerable Australians who are being ripped off every single day.