Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 4 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 1090..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
safeguards are replicated in the present Bill, which requires that the credit provider tell the Discrimination Tribunal and the Discrimination Commissioner the sources on which the data is based and any relevant factors relied on, if asked.
The provision of credit does carry significant risk to the credit provider. Credit providers must carefully assess creditworthiness to ensure that borrowers are not overcommitted and to minimise bad debts and maintain profit. It is therefore in everyone's interest to ensure that applicants are assessed thoroughly as to their ability to repay before a contract is entered into. Credit providers are subject to the Consumer Credit Code, which allows a court to reopen a credit contract if the credit provider knew, or ought to have known, at the time of the transaction that the debtor could not pay or could not do so without substantial hardship. The Credit Tribunal may make an order reducing the amount a borrower is liable to pay. This places a substantial onus on finance providers to conduct a thorough credit assessment of all applicants to enable them to properly assess capacity to pay and make sound commercial decisions to protect their own businesses.
It should also be noted that such an exemption would not be dissimilar to exemptions already in the Act allowing age as a factor for insurance and superannuation purposes. The amendment recognises the benefits to the ACT finance industry of having consistent procedures and operations, particularly with New South Wales and Victoria, as well as with the insurance and superannuation industries locally and nationally. The amendment will have a positive impact on the businesses of credit providers by removing an impediment for such businesses, enabling them to make better, more informed decisions. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Kaine ) adjourned.
MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (10.59): Mr Speaker, I present the Statute Law Revision Bill 2000, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
I ask for leave to have the presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.
The speech read as follows: