Industry associations in FASEA bill stoush

The AIOFP has hit back at FPA chief executive Dante De Gori’s appearance on The ifa Show podcast this week, saying the association was “trying to take credit” for the imminent passage of laws to extend the FASEA education and exam compliance deadline.

In a communication to members sent on Thursday, AIOFP director Peter Johnston said Mr De Gori’s comments during the podcast indicated the association had been involved in efforts to get the deadline extended, which had only been possible with the agreement of both major political parties.

“There is one only person responsible for the ALP, via shadow minister Stephen Jones, supporting the safe passage of this legislation, and that is the FSU’s assistant national secretary and former NSW premier, Nathan Rees,” Mr Johnston said.

“Nathan has been prosecuting advisers’ case with shadow minister Jones over the past six months, where he convinced the ALP that this current government has gone too far and the pendulum had to swing back to reasonableness and fairness. He did have some assistance from the AIOFP.”

Mr Johnston told ifa his association’s members had joined the FSU in large numbers in the lead-up to the 2019 election, hoping to increase the political lobbying power of the advice sector after several years of damaging regulatory change.

“We started promoting members to become part of the FSU in early 2018 in the lead up to the federal election – [Bill] Shorten looked like winning and the FSU and Nathan are very close to [Tanya] Plibersek, [Chris] Bowen and [Anthony] Albanese, so it made political sense,” Mr Johnston said. 

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“We have around 600 members in the FSU ‘Advice column’ and I am a member. Despite the ALP losing [the election], they are still circa 45 per cent of the vote and we need them to co-operate to pass legislation outside of the cross-benchers.”

Speaking in the podcast, Mr De Gori said the FPA was confident the extension would pass the Senate when Parliament was able to properly sit again, and that “as soon as there is some ability for us to take a breath following the coronavirus crisis, we will be on the front foot ensuring that does get done”.

“That is something critical for us,” he said.

However, Mr Johnston said that “considering the FPA did not support the FSU campaign to assist our industry before the last election, it’s fair to say they played no part in these changes to the legislation”.

Industry associations in FASEA bill stoush
Peter Johnston
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