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Lambie apologises for previous position

PUP senator Jacqui Lambie has apologised to her electorate for previously supporting the government's amendments to FOFA, vowing to vote in the public interest from here on.

In a speech backing a motion to disallow the previous FOFA amendments, Senator Lambie told the Senate she had let down the people of Tasmania.

“I would firstly like to apologise to my Tasmanians, especially those who have reached the stage in life where they have worked hard, saved every cent and have created nest eggs that they would like to invest for their future and their family's future,” she said.

“In the past, my vote in the Senate helped to create the situation where today the laws of our country don't provide proper protection for investment funds.”

Senator Lambie said she had changed her position after consultation with voters, consumer advocates and lobby groups like National Seniors.

She said the amendments had left investors vulnerable to “unscrupulous financial advisers who receive kickbacks and secret commissions to sell unsound and risky financial products or schemes”.

Senator Lambie described the power imbalance between financial institutions and their clients as a “David and Goliath battle”.

“All I'm doing is arming the average Australian investor with rights under the law which give them a fair chance in their unfair battle with Australia's financial Goliaths,” she said.

Voicing support for the disallowance motion, she said she was voting with her conscience.

“I will not allow the Liberal Party and their supporters to wind back consumer protection in a time when the financial advice industry has been shown to act in a scandalous manner,” she said.

Senator Ricky Muir also broke his silence on the issue, saying he is not interested in arguments about banks versus industry funds and will vote only in the "public interest".