The majority vote in favour of a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Murray Watt (Labor). Although these types of motions don’t make any legal changes on their own, they can be politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.
That the Senate—
(a) notes that, in 2009, the then Labor Government introduced responsible lending obligations (RLOs), legislation protecting the interests of consumers by placing an obligation on lenders that they not enter into a credit contract or lease that is unsuitable for the consumer;
(b) recognises that some small amount credit contracts (SACCs) lenders are preying on vulnerable low income Australians by entering into payday loans and consumer leases with crippling interest rates; the Stop the Debt Trap Alliance's The debt trap report found that many SACCs were going to financially stressed and distressed households, leading to an ongoing cycle of debt from which it was difficult to escape;
(c) expresses its support for laws which protect consumers from unsafe lending practices;
(d) condemns the Federal Government for:
(i) introducing legislation which scraps RLOs,
(ii) taking more than four years to introduce the SACC reforms they promised, and
(iii) introducing weak protections for SACC consumers; and
(e) calls on the Federal Government to make a genuine commitment to protecting consumers from unsafe and predatory lending practices.