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64 SENATE Tuesday, 14 February 2017 By pursuing these reforms, we are closing a loophole, which will ensure that all retail client money is protected, in accordance with the same standards. Honourable members, the reforms I introduce today will better protect client money provided for retail derivatives by ensuring that retail client money must be held on trust for the client. The reforms do not ban licensees from hedging or prevent them from managing their own business risks. Indeed, licensees are required by law to have adequate risk management practices in place. But licensees' risk management practices need to be self-sustaining – they can't continue to facilitate their own risk management by placing retail client money at risk. And I appreciate that many licensees already choose both to hedge with their own money and respect clients' expectations that their money will be segregated and held on trust. These reforms also provide ASIC with the power to effectively monitor the limitations on the use of derivative client money by enabling ASIC to make client money reconciliation and reporting rules. The financial system is certainly more resilient than before the global financial crisis. Nonetheless, I agree with the Financial System Inquiry's conclusions that, while consumers are ultimately responsible for the consequences of their financial decisions, they must be treated fairly and ethically. Furthermore, the regulatory regime should engender confidence and trust in the system – because reduced trust represents a barrier to consumers engaging with the Australian financial system and blocks investment in Australian businesses. That's why the Government has already introduced a number of measures to improve consumer protection within the financial system. We have established a register of financial advisers that allows consumers to verify the credentials of financial advisers and be confident that they are appropriately qualified and experienced. We're progressing reforms to lift the professional, educational and ethical standards of financial advisers who provide advice on more complex financial products to retail clients. And, we're progressing reforms to life insurance advice remuneration structures, which are an important step towards addressing concerns that remuneration incentives are affecting the quality of advice provided to consumers and encouraging the unnecessary turnover of policies. Full details of these measures are contained in the explanatory memorandum. In closing, I note that these reforms represent necessary and valuable changes to the current regulatory environment, both for the treatment of client monies and the disclosure requirements for Employee Share Schemes. Not only will they deliver significant benefits to consumers, start-ups and employees, they will also help maintain trust and confidence in the financial system. I commend this bill to the Senate. Debate adjourned. Ordered that the bills be listed on the Notice Paper as separate orders of the day. COMMITTEES Selection of Bills Committee Report Senator WILLIAMS (New South Wales—Nationals Whip in the Senate) (17:26): Pursuant to order and at the request of the chairs of the respective committees, I present reports on legislation as listed at item 18 on today's order of business, together with the Hansard record of proceedings and documents presented to the committees. Ordered that the report be printed. DOCUMENTS Closing the Gap Consideration Senator PAYNE (New South Wales—Minister for Defence) (17:26): I move: That the Senate take note of the documents. The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Ketter): I understand that informal arrangements have been made to allocate 10 minutes to each of the speakers in today's debate. With the concurrence of the Senate, I shall ask the Clerk to set the clock accordingly. Senator Scullion. Senator SCULLION (Northern Territory—Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (17:27): I commend the documents to senators, not just for the clear understanding they provide of what needs to be done to address this disadvantage in First Australian communities but because it gets beyond a gapfocus and a deficit-mindset, and tells the proud stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievements. It is a catalogue of pride in country, pride in community, and pride in work and family. It shows how pride and cultural authority is driving change across the country. CHAMBER

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 SENATE 65 It describes how we as a government have learnt the lessons of history and culture and are working with leaders and communities, and within and alongside culture. That is why I am adamant that Indigenous Advancement Strategy services should be delivered by Indigenous organisations and service providers that deeply understand that culture. For nearly a decade we have been making progress against closing the gap targets. Last night, the Prime Minister and I hosted a function for Indigenous professionals, including the first Aboriginal surgeon and his sister, the first Australian obstetrician, the first person of Indigenous heritage to represent Australia as an ambassador in our diplomatic corp. Over the past 50 years, as the Prime Minister highlighted earlier in his statement to the House, there have been standout people who raised community expectations and pride. There have been many quiet, stalwart achievers who have contributed to their communities by changing one person's life at a time. Being a proud Territorian, I am pleased many are from the Northern Territory—people such as Andrea Mason, Northern Territory Australian of the Year. There has been strong and wide advocacy that has changed attitudes and changed laws—Neville Bonner and Eddie Mabo, and the pioneers of the freedom rides, to name a few. I can describe the progress in the lives of Indigenous communities in my own stories and interactions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There are people like Regan Hart, who was a ranger at Kalpowar, Queensland, and who completed her training as an Indigenous compliance officer with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; and Rick Hanlon, at AFL Cape York House, who was just awarded an Order of Australia for his work supporting students living away from home. People's personal stories are community stories too, and the stories I see when I am out in community. Sadly, the reality remains that the majority of people working in communities are non-Indigenous—the teachers, the nurses, the police, the local chippie or electrician. There has been some change on this front, although the pace of change has not been as fast as many of us would like. There are educated and qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are providing leadership in the communities, but they could be doing these jobs. I will not stop pushing until most if not all of the people working in remote Indigenous communities are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from those communities. There is always the temptation, when talking about this report, to talk about deficits and gaps, because that is what the Closing the Gap targets show. But that is not the whole story—telling the whole story would mean including the 60 First Australians who are getting a job every day. It would mean including the work our remote staff—the so-called yellow shirts—are doing to help 14,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children get to school every day. It would mean including the $284 million in contracts Indigenous businesses won in 2015-16 as a result of their efforts and our procurement policy. Up from just $6.2 million in 2012-13, it is an extraordinary shift in Commonwealth purchasing and a real reflection of the quality of Indigenous businesses. What we always have to keep in mind is that closing the gap is not about ethnicity; it is about poverty. The gaps in life outcomes do not stem from being an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander person but from the fact that those people are living in poverty and suffering all of the consequential social outcomes. Take the target to close the life-expectancy gap by 2031. While we have seen ongoing improvements in life expectancy for the whole Australian population, there has been a gradual improvement for the Indigenous population; the current rate of progress is just slightly improving rather than closing the gap. Let us be frank: this target was ambitious and unrealistic in such a short time frame. Equivalent increases in life expectancy for the broader Australian population have taken between 70 and 90 years to achieve, instead of the 20-year target that we set for ourselves. We need to recognise the progress that has been made and the positive stories that are there. The attendance rate for Indigenous students is 83.4 per cent, which means the majority of Indigenous students are attending school at a rate close to non-Indigenous students. We know that, if we can get kids to pre-school, getting them to go on to school is easier. Some jurisdictions have 100 per cent enrolment rates for Indigenous four-year-old children, but overall only 87 per cent of Indigenous children in the year before full-time schooling were enrolled in early childhood education. That is significantly short of the 95 per cent target set by COAG, so it is really important that we assist those jurisdictions who are simply not cutting it. We all know that literacy and numeracy standards are stagnating across the entire Australian student population. Although the literacy and numeracy gaps remain, the numbers required to halve the gap are within reach. In 2016, if an additional 440 Indigenous year 3 students throughout Australia had achieved the national minimum standard in reading, we would have achieved the target. Again, it should be noted that both South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory actually achieved every single standard in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in reading, but the Northern Territory achieved none in both reading and numeracy. It is not only just saying that, broadly, we need to improve this; we also need to use the Closing the Gap report to ensure that we target CHAMBER

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