House debates

Monday, 18 February 2019

Statements by Members

Household and Personal Debt

1:45 pm

Photo of Joanne RyanJoanne Ryan (Lalor, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It is now 1,291 days since this government announced a review of predatory payday lending practices. That's 3½ years—plenty of time, you would think, to get the legislation and get the reforms into this place, where there is absolute support for the recommendations that were made by that review, to get a vote on them. This reform could happen right now. The legislation is ready to go. It was moved again this morning by the member for Brand. It is a private member's bill.

The number of people being exploited in the electorate of Lalor is alarming, but not surprising when you consider we have four payday lending shopfronts within 500 metres of the Werribee train station, conveniently located so that these lenders can catch vulnerable people in their net. Denis Nelthorpe from WEstjustice, our community legal centre, blew the whistle on just how predatory this industry is, when, from a legal advice clinic, he found that 23 per cent of in-patients at our mental health unit had a payday loan, and 25 per cent of those people had more than one loan.

The answer is in the government's hands. We're running out of days. This part-time government needs to bring this bill up in scale and get it voted on. They can do this today and protect vulnerable people in my electorate, and electorates around this country.