Tuesday 28 Mar 2017
By: Tom McIntosh
March 27th saw Victorian FCs Julie Barrow, Pam Mutton, Shungu Patsika and myself join 30 consumer advocates from FCA, CALC, Good Shepherd NILS and CHOICE, just to name a few, descend on Canberra.
All involved did a lot of work to pull this day together, it is not easy to organise so many politicians in one day. A big shout out to Mick Bellairs and the Consumer Action Law Centre team for their co-ordination.
The group managed to meet individually with over 40 pollies and lobbied for the speedy introduction of the recommendations from the Small Amount Credit Contract (SACC) Review. If legislated as recommended, caps of 10% of net income will apply to payday loans and consumer lease contract repayments to protect consumers from predatory behaviour.
The day was started with a breakfast where the Minister and Shadow Minister spoke. An additional 25 politicians to those met later attended and heard why the changes are so important. Pam Mutton, who was on the panel, spoke absolutely brilliantly - every politician in the room was silent in reflection after her words.
#FairFinance trended on twitter at number 10 for the day in Australia, and print and TV across the country picked up the story.
Even though Payday Loan and Consumer Lease Reps were in Canberra lobbying not a single politician was against the reforms.
Now we must keep our attention close and maintain pressure to ensure the reforms are timely and in no way watered down.
In closing, the day was a real success. Our presence has put the SACC reforms front of politicians minds and firmly on the governments legislative agenda for 2017.