EXCLUSIVE The AIOFP is confident that its relationship with the Financial Sector Union and ties to the ALP has its advantages despite the shock Coalition win at the 2019 federal election.
Over the last six months, the AIOFP has been lobbying both sides of government on major issues such as the banning of grandfathered commissions and reforms in the life insurance sector.
The association’s executive director, Peter Johnston, told ifa that key driver for the AIOFP’s growing ties with the left has been poor past representation of the advice industry by what he describes as “institutionally aligned associations” in Canberra.
“The coalition victory and the institutions' natural alliance with the conservative side of politics is unfortunately maintained but there is some positives there for us,” he said.
“Our long-term strategy is to use the FSU for the ALP-friendly crossbenches network, the Small Business Association and existing member LNP connections for the conservative-friendly crossbench relationships – nothing has changed, we need a diverse approach.”
While he admits that the Coalition victory does take some emphasis away from the FSU and ALP-friendly crossbench aspect of the AIOFP’s agenda, Mr Johnston said a ‘mixed bag’ of influence in the Senate demands that these relationships be maintained.
“The FSU is critical to the ALP side of politics,” he said. “The other positive aspect to our FSU relationship is the ability to proactively devise policy initiatives instead of only being reactive to them.”
With Labor heavyweights now in a leadership race after Bill Shorten stepped down as opposition leader, Australians are no longer considering the option of being governed by the architect of the FOFA reforms.
“The other positive aspect to the Coalition victory is the removal of past political architects of FASEA and LIF,” Mr Johnston said. “We are pleased to see the end of some political careers and with the retirement of other veteran politicians, we have the chance to educate the new politicians on the facts about our industry.”
“LIF and FASEA architect Kelly O’Dywer and industry critic Malcolm Turnbull thankfully have left the party pre-election, but the departures of other Liberal veterans has paved the way for some new blood into Liberals,” he said.
“The key issue for 10,000 advisers receiving grandfathered revenue is the Coalition have proposed a banning date for 2021. Not 2020 like the ALP. This date gives us time to challenge the legislation in the High Court without the revenue being terminated then reactivated if we win the challenge.”
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