AFA urges ALP to drop amendments and pass bill

13 May 2020

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has reassured the Association of Financial Adviser (AFA) that it will be supporting legislation extending the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam timetable.

However, at the same time, the Federal Opposition has acknowledged it was to debate other amendments to the Government’s omnibus bill – something which will delay the FASEA exam extension perhaps well beyond May.

It is in these circumstances that the AFA has called on the ALP to put aside its amendments to allow the key FASEA extension legislation to pass.

In a message sent to members overnight, AFA chief executive, Phil Kewin said the Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones had made contact to explain the Federal Opposition’s position.

 “They have confirmed that they support the extensions as they have previously stated, which we acknowledge,” Kewin said. “However, the extension to the deadlines for the FASEA exam and education standard, is part of a broader Bill (Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 3), and the ALP intends to make an amendment to this Bill on an unrelated matter.”
 
“If the amendment is successful, then the bill will have to go back to the Lower House at another time. Alternatively, if the amendment is tabled and debated, there may not be sufficient time to pass the bill. Or given the very limited sitting opportunities for the Senate, the Government may not want to address legislation that is likely to result in an extended debate, and therefore the Government may choose not to table the Bill at all. Ultimately, either way, it would appear that the legislation is unlikely to be passed this week if the ALP seeks to introduce the unrelated amendment as proposed," he said.
 
“This is why we have called on the ALP to pass the bill without the unrelated amendment, which we believe can be dealt with either elsewhere or at another time."



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Could a simple and reasonable request to just pass the legislation and provide certainty and clarity become any more complicated and convoluted than what is occurring ?
The financial services industry has to constantly fight like hell on every single issue.
Nothing is ever reasonable and nothing is certainly ever easy.
Whilst I understand that our issues are among many others, you can't help but start to feel that there is always a wall put up at every single corner.

So Stephen Jones and the Labor Party have confirmed categorically they fully support the extension and know how important this is right now, but want to hijack the process by adding an unrelated amendment to the Bill ?
They don't want to play politics on the extension, but they do want to play politics on the other ?
This is just crazy.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Given the limited exam schedule now, if you are relying on the extension before even attempting the exam you are just setting yourself up.

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