17 February 2021

Mum and Dad investors and self-managed retirees have once again been given an all-too-clear signal the Morrison Government is not on their side.

Scott Morrison’s radical changes to Continuous Disclosure Laws tip the scales in favour of the directors of public companies and against the interests of their shareholders.

After the revelations about Crown Casino in the New South Wales Casino Inquiry, it is hard to understand why the Government is going down this path.

Shareholders are demanding more transparency, not less, to protect their investments and allow them to make rational decisions about where to put their money.

Instead, the Government has turned its back on openness in the name of “regulatory relief”.

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar’s Orwellian doublespeak will send chills down investors’ spines.

He told Parliament, “Without a high level of protection, companies may choose to withhold forecasts or future earnings, or other future-looking estimates, thereby limiting the amount of information available to investors”.

Is the Assistant Treasurer seriously suggesting that “protecting” public companies from having to disclose market sensitive information will somehow result in more transparency?

Does the Assistant Treasurer seriously expect investors to think he’s doing them a favour by putting thicker walls around key corporate information?

The law should exist to protect all market players and provide an even playing field.

Investors should have every opportunity to access the courts if they feel they have not been provided with proper information about their shareholdings.