Senate debates

Monday, 9 August 2021


Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021; In Committee

7:56 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

I didn't do a second reader on the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021. I do support the electronic meetings that have been proposed by the government. Schedule 1 is good. However, I won't be supporting schedule 2, for similar reasons as Senator Gallagher mentioned. It allows the possibility for directors to withhold information, in some way mislead or just not have to be careful about what it is that they provide to the stock market. I can see Senator Hume shaking her head.

It's funny: the laws that we had prior to COVID worked. They worked for some considerable period of time. I'll use a simple example of responsibility that contrasts what's happening here. It turns out that, if you're an individual without many resources and you fill out an insurance form and you make one mistake when you fill out that insurance form, then, guaranteed, the insurance company will not meet its obligations or will decline the insurance, through one error. Yet, when you've got a team of people supporting you in a corporation and you make a mistake—you somehow put something out to the market that is wrong or you mislead by omission—that's deemed to be okay. There's a huge contrast here in the way we treat a corporation versus a person. The laws that we had in place prior to COVID worked well, and we shouldn't seek to change them.

The CHAIR: The question is that amendment (2) on sheet 1354, moved by Senator Gallagher, as amended by government amendment (1) on sheet RS134, be agreed to.


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