Media Releases

Asia Region Funds Passport provides opportunity for Australia’s financial services sector

11 September 2015

Cross border issuing of managed investment funds is set to become easier across the Asia region following the signing of the Asia Region Funds Passport Statement of Understanding at the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Cebu, the Philippines today. Finance Ministers from Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines and Thailand signed the Passport Statement […]

Coalition Government fixes unclaimed money provisions

9 September 2015

The Government has delivered on its commitment to protect Australians’ hard-earned savings accounts with the passage of the Banking Laws Amendment (Unclaimed Moneys) Bill 2015 through the Parliament. The Bill restores the time bank accounts and life insurance policies can be inactive, before they are transferred to government, from three to seven years. This reverses […]

Public consultation commences on an industry funding model for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

28 August 2015

The Government has today released a consultation paper seeking stakeholder views on the potential introduction of an industry funding model for the regulatory activities of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This consultation forms part of the Government's consideration of findings of the Financial System Inquiry (Murray Inquiry), which recommended that ASIC's regulatory activities […]

Wine Equalisation Tax Rebate Discussion Paper released and Consultative Group appointed

21 August 2015

Today the Government released the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate Discussion Paper. The wine industry is an important contributor to the Australian economy and an important part of many communities, particularly regional communities. The Discussion Paper provides an overview of the Australian wine industry and raises issues facing the industry, including the operation of the […]

Outcomes of superannuation governance consultation

19 August 2015

The Government is committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for Australians saving for their retirement. In June, the Government released exposure draft legislation proposing changes to strengthen the governance arrangements for all Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulated superannuation funds. Consistent with both the 2010 Cooper Review and the Financial System Inquiry, the Government’s […]

Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce Interim Report

17 August 2015

Today the Government welcomes the release of the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce Interim Report. The Government recognises that many people in Northern Australia have experienced a substantial increase in insurance premiums in recent years. In many cases, these increases have been far in excess of those experienced in the rest of the country, largely […]

Review of the small amount credit contract laws

7 August 2015

The Government is establishing a review of the small amount credit contract (SACC) laws and related provisions in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Credit Act). The establishment of the review fulfils a statutory requirement under the Credit Act, to examine and report on the effectiveness of the law relating to SACCs. The Government […]

Capability review of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

24 July 2015

The Government is commissioning a review to consider the capabilities of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC plays an important role in ensuring that investors and consumers can have confidence in Australia’s financial system. The capability review will ensure that ASIC has the appropriate governance, capabilities and systems to meet these objectives and […]

Income tax relief for MySuper transfers within a fund

29 June 2015

The Government will amend the income tax law to ensure that the existing MySuper tax relief covers the consequences of transfers within a super fund, where the transfer is required under the law. Super funds are required to transfer the existing balances of super fund members who are in default products to a MySuper product […]

Improving superannuation governance

26 June 2015

The Government has released exposure draft legislation delivering on its commitment to improve governance in superannuation. Australia’s superannuation system now has more than $2 trillion in assets – a figure that represents more than 120 per cent of Australia’s GDP. Based on current projections, this is expected to grow to $9 trillion by 2040, while […]

Finalising the Future of Financial Advice laws

25 June 2015

The Government has agreed with the Opposition to progress minor and technical refinements to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) laws contained in the Corporations Act 2001. FOFA was introduced in 2012 following a bipartisan parliamentary inquiry. The laws provide important consumer protections by imposing a statutory best interests duty on financial advisers, banning conflicted […]

Industry reform proposal on retail life insurance welcomed

25 June 2015

The Government welcomes the significant reform package received today from the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and Financial Services Council (FSC) on behalf of the retail life insurance industry. Having previously expressed my preference for industry to develop genuine solutions to the problems identified in the Australian Securities and […]

Key tax measures pass the Parliament

19 June 2015

The Government has furthered its commitment to increasing Australia’s economic competitiveness while restoring the budget with the passage of the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No.1) Bill 2015 through the Parliament. This Bill includes a number of key measures to modernise Australia’s tax system while also providing both budget repair and efficiency measures. […]

Promoting Australia’s financial services capabilities in Japan and Korea

8 June 2015

I will visit Japan and Korea this week to participate in a range of high-level discussions with key government and business representatives on Australia’s financial services sector and the Asia Region Funds Passport. I will be accompanied by a Financial Services Council (FSC) delegation of senior representatives from the Australian financial services industry. My visit to […]

Release of Board of Taxation reports

4 June 2015

Today the Government is releasing a number of Board of Taxation reports, as part of the national conversation on the future of the tax system.  These reports are an important input into the tax reform process. They will be carefully considered alongside the submissions we have received from all parts of the community in response […]

Referral to Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services

4 June 2015

Today I moved a motion to refer matters relating to the impairment of customer loans to the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) on Corporations and Financial Services for inquiry. In particular, the Committee will look into the practices of banks and other financial institutions where constructive default or security revaluation and non-monetary conditions of default have […]

Financial Advisers Register supporting better consumer outcomes

1 June 2015

The inclusion from today of advisers’ training, qualifications and professional association memberships on the Financial Advisers Register delivers on the Government’s commitment to implement an industry-wide, public register of financial advisers. This is a strong step in the right direction for the financial services industry, and demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to raise the professional […]

Measures to boost philanthropy in Australia

28 May 2015

The Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership today consolidated its commitment to increasing philanthropy in Australia.  The Partnership confirmed two measures to encourage philanthropy: simplifying the valuation requirements for donations of listed shares and managed funds; and enhancing portability for private ancillary funds (PAF)s on winding up. The first measure removes the need for donors to […]

Appointments to the Board of Taxation

14 May 2015

The Government is pleased to announce three new appointments to the Board of Taxation, Mr Neville Mitchell, Ms Karen Payne and Mrs Ann-Maree Wolff. The Government is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr John Emerson AM as the Deputy Chair of the Board, following his significant contribution over several years as a member of the Board. The Board of Taxation is a […]

Details of the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce

8 May 2015

On 30 March 2015, I announced a Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce to explore options for reducing home, contents and strata insurance premiums in Northern Australia. I am pleased to announce that the Taskforce will be headed by Mr Mike Callaghan AM, a former Executive Director in the Australian Treasury. Mr Callaghan brings strategic senior […]

Early access to superannuation for people with terminal illness

7 May 2015

The Government will amend the provision for accessing superannuation for people suffering a terminal illness. This follows representations by Breast Cancer Network Australia and other organisations. Under the current provision for early access to superannuation, a person with a terminal illness is required to obtain a certification from medical specialists they have less than 12 […]

Wine Equalisation Tax rebate discussion paper

5 May 2015

The Government will ask the Treasury to prepare a discussion paper on the operation of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate to help inform consideration of the issue as part of the Tax White Paper process. Growers and producers have raised concerns whether the current operation of the WET rebate is continuing to meet the […]

Providing more certainty and better outcomes for taxpayers

1 May 2015

The Government is committed to providing more certainty and better outcomes for taxpayers and reducing the regulatory burden on individuals, business and community organisations. The complexity of Australia’s tax law, combined with evolving business practices, has increasingly led to unintended outcomes. Even though the Commissioner of Taxation endeavours to interpret the law to give effect […]

Constructive roundtable on lifting financial adviser standards

30 April 2015

On 29 April 2015, I hosted a roundtable with peak industry bodies, consumer groups, respected academics, and the Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Greg Medcraft. We discussed the bipartisan model proposed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC), to lift the professional, ethical and education standards of financial […]

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal chair appointed

7 April 2015

The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Helen Davis as the full‑time Chairperson of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal for a five‑year period. The Tribunal provides an informal alternative to the courts for the resolution of certain superannuation‑related complaints. Ms Davis has a strong understanding of superannuation and the sector and will continue […]

Improvements to the tax rules for debt and equity

2 April 2015

Today the Government is releasing the Board of Taxation’s review into aspects of the tax integrity rules that distinguish debt finance from equity. Specifically, the report recommends reforms to the related scheme provisions and the equity override provision in the tax rules for debt and equity. The current rules are uncertain and have created significant […]

Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce

30 March 2015

The Government is establishing a taskforce to explore options for reducing home, contents and strata insurance premiums in Northern Australia. Insurance costs in North Queensland are five times higher than in Sydney and Melbourne for strata insurance and two-and-a-half times higher for home insurance. The biggest driver of these higher prices is cyclone risk. Similar […]

Review of Retail Life Insurance Advice

26 March 2015

The Government welcomes the release of the Review of Retail Life Insurance Advice, chaired by John Trowbridge. The independent and important report was commissioned by the Financial Services Council and the Association of Financial Advisers on behalf of the industry. It follows the ASIC Review of Retail Life Insurance Advice of October 2014 which criticised […]

Professional standards of financial advisers

25 March 2015

The Government is releasing a consultation paper and calling for submissions on ways to lift the professional standards of financial advisers. Financial advisers play a very important role in Australia, helping consumers to plan for their retirement, and to manage the financial risks and opportunities of life. Two important inquiries – the Financial System Inquiry […]

Two men sentenced in Australia’s largest insider trading case

17 March 2015

Two men were sentenced to jail terms of 7 years and 3 months, and 3 years and 3 months respectively in the Victorian Supreme Court today for their roles in Australia’s largest insider trading scheme totalling $7 million. The two men were charged in 2014 with insider trading, money laundering and abuse of public office […]

Government delivers exploration development incentive and other key taxation improvements

4 March 2015

The Government has secured passage through the Senate of reforms that provide incentives for mineral exploration and remove punitive tax rates on excess superannuation contributions. The Exploration Development Incentive supports junior and mid-sized mining companies by encouraging greenfields mineral exploration.

Cutting red tape for Australian companies

3 March 2015

The Coalition Government has delivered a $14 million annual saving for Australian companies, local clubs and associations by cutting unnecessary and costly red tape. Parliament has passed the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014 which includes a number of red tape-cutting reforms to the corporations law

Asia Region Funds Passport Rules released for public consultation

27 February 2015

Today the Government is releasing the internationally negotiated rules for the Asia Region Funds Passport (Passport) for public consultation. With $2.4 trillion in funds under management, Australia’s funds management industry is well established. However, only around four per cent of those funds are managed on behalf of foreign residents. The Passport will create a regional […]

Report by Inspector-General of Taxation

27 February 2015

The Government has today released the report by the Inspector-General of Taxation, The Management of Tax Disputes. The Inspector-General’s report was prepared at the request of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue. The Committee is conducting an Inquiry into Tax Disputes, which was referred to it on 2 June 2014 by […]

Government calls for consultation on crisis resolution regime for financial market infrastructures

20 February 2015

Today the Government is releasing a consultation paper and calling for submissions on a potential crisis resolution regime for financial market infrastructures. The Government is committed to implementing measures to mitigate the risks of a financial market or related service failing. Although Australia has statutory crisis resolution regimes for banks and insurance companies, such provisions […]

Public consultation commences on proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry

19 February 2015

The Government welcomes the recent report from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (the Committee) on its inquiry on proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry. I wish to thank the Committee, particularly its Chair, Senator David Fawcett, the organisations and individuals who made submissions […]

Further red tape reductions passed by the Senate

11 February 2015

The Government is getting on with the job of cutting red tape and regulation. Yesterday, the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Repeal Day) Bill 2014 passed the Senate. This Bill is part of the Government's commitment to abolish red tape that reduces productivity and investment, stifles job creation, creates uncertainty and saps confidence.

Review of competition in clearing Australian cash equities

11 February 2015

The Government is committed to promoting safe and efficient financial markets that drive economic growth. To achieve this, appropriate regulatory settings for financial market infrastructure are essential, including for clearing cash equities. The Government has asked the Council of Financial Regulators to conduct a review of competition in the clearing of Australian cash equities. The […]

Board of Tax report on tax and small business

20 January 2015

Small business is the engine room of the economy and a key driver of jobs growth in Australia. The Government wants to simplify small business' interactions with the tax system and make Australia one of the best places to start and grow a business. We have released the Board of Taxation's report on taxation impediments […]

Inspector-General of Taxation report on the Australian Taxation Office’s administration of valuation matters

19 January 2015

The Assistant Treasurer, the Honourable Josh Frydenberg, today released the Inspector-General of Taxation's Review into the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) administration of valuation matters. Valuation requirements have been an area of ongoing concern for taxpayers. The Inspector-General has identified inherent difficulties associated with the nature and associated costs of valuations.

Promoting Australia’s financial services industry in Asia and Europe

16 January 2015

This weekend I leave for Hong Kong and Europe to participate in a range of discussions with key government and business representatives on the global economy and Australia's financial services sector. In Hong Kong, I will participate in the Asian Financial Forum and meet with the Hong Kong government to promote Australia as a financial […]

Public consultation: Release of the draft Private Health Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Bill 2015

12 January 2015

Today the Government is releasing exposure draft legislation to deliver on its commitment to transfer the prudential regulation of private health insurers from the Private Health Insurance Administration Council to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. The changes will be made by the Private Health Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Bill 2015 and are part of the Government's […]