Labor has called on Senate crossbenchers to “stand up for mum and dad investors” by voting against the Government’s changes to continuous disclosure obligations.
If passed, the changes would give safe harbour to company directors who failed to pass on accurate and timely information to the market, and had also been criticised by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).
Stephen Jones, Shadow Assistant Treasurer and the Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, said the changes not only undermined basic market principles but gave a leg-up to institutional investors who would continue to get privileged access to important information.
“Small investors, on the other hand, would be left in the dark about important information and would effectively be investing with one hand tied behind their backs,” Jones said.
“The Howard Government introduced the current continuous disclosure obligations 20 years ago and the Morrison Government has offered no evidence of the need to change them.
“The Australian Shareholders Association says what it calls the proposed ‘don’t ask – don’t tell’ regime will create a dangerous culture of secrecy and a legal protection for misleading and deceptive conduct.”
Labor had opposed the proposals since the Government first unveiled them in April.
“We urge Senate crossbenchers to back a level playing field that treats all investors the same and vote against this bill,” Jones said.