02 August 2021

Senate crossbenchers have the opportunity to stand up for mum and dad investors by voting against the Government’s radical plans to water down continuous disclosure obligations.

The changes, if passed, would give safe harbour to company directors who fail to pass on accurate and timely information to the market.

The changes not only undermine basic market principles but give a huge leg-up to large institutional investors who would continue to get privileged access to important information.

Small investors, on the other hand, would be left in the dark about important information and would effectively be investing with one hand tied behind their backs.

The Howard Government introduced the current continuous disclosure obligations 20 years ago and the Morrison Government has offered no evidence of the need to change them.

The Australian Shareholders Association says what it calls the proposed ‘don’t ask – don’t tell’ regime will create a dangerous culture of secrecy and a legal protection for misleading and deceptive conduct.

Labor has opposed these proposals since April when the Government first unveiled them.

We urge Senate crossbenchers to back a level playing field that treats all investors the same and vote against this Bill.