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Greens secure Senate Inquiry into Forestry Managed Investment Schemes

Greens Senator for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is pleased to provide the following comments following the Greens’ successful bid to secure a Senate Inquiry into forestry Managed Investment Schemes.

 Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Today the Senate agreed to a Greens motion and voted to conduct an Inquiry into forestry Managed Investment Schemes (MIS).

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Government to weaken consumer protections in FoFA via regulation backdoor

Greens Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, Competition Policy and Small Business, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson responds to the Government’s plans to water down consumer protections in the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) laws via the backdoor of regulation, instead of subjecting the changes to full Parliamentary scrutiny.

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Government fails to take heed of financial victims woes on FoFA reforms

The Greens spokesperson for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson today asked the government in Senate Question Time whether they had considered the plight of the hundreds of victims of the Timbercorp collapse when drafting their FoFA reforms.

ANZ and liquidators are today calling in the debts of mum and dad investors who were sold dodgy Managed Investment Scheme products from Timbercorp. These investments were risky and complex and were pushed by some financial planners seeking commissions.

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Abbott left in Obama's wake as US acts on ocean conservation

The United States has taken further lead on climate, science and conservation with President Barack Obama using his executive powers to declare additional marine protected areas and increasing research funds for monitoring ocean acidification as part of push to deal with the impacts of pollution, climate change, and overfishing in our oceans.

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Liberal Senators ignore concerns of Consumer and Seniors groups on FoFA reforms

Greens spokesperson for Consumer Affairs and Small Business, Senator Whish-Wilson, says the Liberal Senators Inquiry report on the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) Bill have sided with the big banks over consumers and seniors.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “From the very beginning the Liberal Government has been looking to deliver for its donors in the banking sector by unwinding consumer protections in the field of financial advice.

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Urgent need for mandatory supermarket Code of Conduct

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens spokesperson for Competition Policy, Small Business and Consumer Affairs responds to the ACCC pursuing claims that Coles has been illegally squeezing some of its suppliers to help keep its prices down while maintaining its profits.

Senator Whish-Wilson says “These claims reinforce the need for a mandatory Code of Conduct for supermarkets to prevent them riding roughshod over their suppliers.

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Tasmanian Liberals backflip puts national Cash-for-Container scheme at risk

Greens Senator for Tasmania, Senator Whish-Wilson responds to Tasmanian Liberal Party comments that they will oppose any Cash-for-Container schemes.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Tasmanian Liberals unthinking opposition to a Cash-for-Containers scheme puts at risk years of effort by state and federal governments to finally solve a piece of Australia's litter and waste puzzle."

Yesterday, Deputy Leader of Tasmanian Liberal Party, Jeremy Rockliff, used Clean Up Australia Day as a platform to say that the Liberals would oppose any scheme.

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Senator responds to ASIC admission that “We haven’t given up” on John Gay proceeds of crime

Today in Senate Estimates, under continued questioning from Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, ASIC have admitted that the John Gay proceeds of crime action is still alive.

Chris Savundra, Senior Executive Leader Markets Enforcement, ASIC said “proceeds of crime remains a live issue. We are in dialogue with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution”.

Chairman of ASIC, Greg Medcraft followed up in saying “We haven’t given up”.

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Australia can't afford an Abbott Government failure to deliver the “cash-for-containers” economic windfall

Today Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson called on Environment Minister Greg Hunt to outline his new plan for delivering the economic, social, and environmental windfalls of a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) given the Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) was disbanded this month.

“With up to 3,000 jobs and $500 million in sustainable investment at stake nationally, on top of the millions to be saved by local governments across Australia, Minister Hunt needs to immediately outline how he will get this process back on track,” Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said.

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New retailer-supplier code a step in the right direction

"A voluntary code is a good first step but given the marked concentration of power and lack of competition in the Australian supermarket sector voluntary measures are unlikely to be enough to address misuses of market power by the two supermarket giants.

"As the market share of Coles and Woolworths has grown, they have squeezed the margins of some suppliers and put pressure on many farmers and local manufacturers. Small local shops are struggling to compete and consumers' favourite brands have disappeared from the shelves.

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