Barnaby Joyce’s troubles impact AFCA legislation

The future of the Government’s Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) legislation has been opened to further question following the Government’s loss of an outright majority in the House of Representatives because of the High Court ruling on National Party leader, Barnaby Joyce.

With the Australian Labor Party (ALP) having expressed strong concerns about the inclusion of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) within the AFCA structure, the Government will not have the numbers in the lower house to ensure that the legislation passes without amendment.

The Government is also likely to have difficulty in moving changes to superannuation fund governance and choice which have been similarly strongly opposed by the Federal Opposition.

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In dissenting reports on both the AFCA and superannuation fund governance legislation, Labor senators flagged they would be insisting on significant amendments to the Government’s legislation.

Given the timing of the by-election in Joyce’s seat of New England, it seems unlikely the Government will be in a position to navigate the passage of the legislation before Parliament resumes after the Christmas/New Year recess in 2018.

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