Royal commission reforms on hold as Parliament set to close
With Parliament now not able to sit until August because of the COVID-19 crisis, financial advisers can essentially disregard any legislation resulting from the royal commission that has not been passed yet and was due to come into force on 1 July, according to an industry body.
In an upcoming episode of The ifa Show podcast run by sister publication ifa, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said it was “unlikely” much of the legislation stemming from royal commission recommendations could now “ever happen” in time for its proposed start date.
“It’s unlikely that we can see the outstanding legislation to enact some of the royal commission recommendations get through Parliament in the next six months. I can’t see how that can be possible, but it all does depend on how long we are in this health crisis for,” Mr De Gori said.
“I think that’s the right thing to be done in terms of the government’s priority. The royal commission in the present scheme of things is not a priority, and also it will allow our members and the industry more broadly to take a collective breath that we don’t have to consider some of these upcoming pieces of reform just now.”
The comments come following the release of the government’s updated sitting calendar for 2020, with both houses of Parliament to now be suspended from sitting until 11 August as parliamentarians look to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to their constituents.
Mr De Gori said advisers had to be aware that some royal commission legislation that had already passed, including the removal of grandfathered commissions, would still go ahead, although he did not rule out the possibility of relief as part of the government’s general drive to keep small businesses afloat.
“There is some legislation that has already passed, so there are no ifs and buts about that, it’s in, so we need to be mindful it will come into play,” he said.
“We are interested to see if there needs to be some support or flexibility around that considering the situation everyone’s in, but at this point in time, that legislation rolls out as per the bill itself and the legislation that is in force.”
However, Mr De Gori said when it came to laws guaranteeing a one-year extension for compliance with the FASEA exam and education standards, advisers could have more confidence that this would still be passed in time for the extension to go through.
“We are still very confident [the extension] will pass the Senate in terms of the exam and education extension, but it will be later this year,” he said.
“As soon as there is some ability for us to take a breath following the coronavirus crisis and Parliament starts to resume in some normal capacity, we will be on the front foot in ensuring that does get done.”