What a difference 10 years makes

The CEO of the AIOFP, Peter Johnston, reports on what a difference 10 years makes.

One of the revelations coming out of the recent SA Members meeting was how the Liberal Party handled the 2014 – 2022 LIF/FASEA political process and how differently Minister Jones is currently handling the QAR response.

At our 2014 Hobart Conference we had the newly appointed Minister Arthur Sinodinos and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann address our members and we were all thankful for the end of the Rudd/Gillard Governments, Minister Shorten and the FOFA Legislation period. We had enjoyed a close relationship with the Liberal Party whilst in Opposition and welcomed their victory at the November 2013 Election.

We all thought the new Abbott Government would be satisfied with the FOFA changes and would leave our industry alone – how wrong were we!

The departure of Minister Sinodinos from politics during the last quarter of 2014 over the water contracts controversy saw the arrival of Josh Frydenberg as our Minister in December of that year. The late Michael Harrison warned us about Frydenberg’s agenda and he was spot on. Fundamentally, Frydenberg was intent on ‘culling’ Adviser numbers to please the Institutional Liberal Party donors with malevolent Legislation to starve and intimidate us out of the industry – and it worked.

Frydenberg’s Chief of Staff Martin Codina was the architect of this legislation, and we only assume with minimal Treasury input.

During 2015/16 we were granted two appointments with Minister Kelly O’Dwyer to discuss the proposed LIF/FASEA legislation, it was literally a waste of time. It was very obvious O’Dwyer had already decided on the direction, she was happy with the 3 Associations backing the legislation and also did not seek Treasury input. It had also become very obvious that Frydenberg was controlling the process from his other portfolio’s [Natural Resources then Treasury]  and Ministers O’Dywer/Hume were his ‘puppets’.

We all know the rest of the story.

The significant difference with the current QAR approach and unravelling the nasty bits of the Liberal legislation is Minister Jones seeking advice from the experts in Treasury without a predetermined all – encompassing agenda. If you ever watched the ABC series ‘YES MINISTER’ the role of the Public Service with Government is normally pivotal.

Naturally, Minister Jones has pressures from party supporters like the Industry Super Funds making the QAR response very interesting, especially with whatever he does for Super funds it must also apply to all Institutions.

Our committee has met with the key Treasury people on two occasions recently, they are very impressive with their knowledge of our industry and a pragmatic approach to the various issues. We will share our thoughts at the upcoming State Member meetings with you.


Peter Johnston | Executive Director
Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals
Suite 1211, 1 Queens Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
P 1800 111 203, d 03 9863 7574, m 0418 857 621
www.aiofp.net.au | Download my business card

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