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Allocate ASIC powers to AFP says Katter

Mike Taylor21 November 2023
Parliament House

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) powers around federal civil and criminal law enforcement should be allocated to another agency such as the Australian Federal Police, according to vocal Queensland independent, Bob Katter.

Katter has lambasted ASIC for failing to deliver on its mandate despite an annual budget of half a billion dollars and approximately 2000 equivalent full-time staff.

The long-serving independent used a submission to the Senate Economics Committee inquiry into ASIC investigation and enforcement to state that: “With such resources at its disposal, ASIC should be far better at meeting its’ legislative responsibilities”.

“The examples noted in this submission, are only a select few of the litany of examples across Australia of ASIC failing to meet its’ responsibilities, Government, business and community expectations and protect Australian citizens, employees and business from corporate wrongdoing,” he said.

“The serious social and economic impacts of not having a strong corporate watchdog cannot be understated. Time has passed for inquiry after inquiry into the lack of action by ASIC.”

“It is clear from the volume and content of the submissions made to this inquiry alone, that Australia desperately needs a strong and powerful entity that can oversight corporate actions and investigate, enforce and punish corporate wrongdoing. “

“It is also clear that ASIC is not the entity that will do this. As such, the recommendations provided in the introduction are reiterated below.”

As well as urging the allocation of ASIC’s powers to an agency such as the AFP, Katter also called for amendments which would speed up investigations and therefore court enforcement action including allowing “immediate and comprehensive asset eizing measures.”.

It said that the Government should provide remedies that are focused on “retribution to aggrieved workers and creditors rather than waiting for drawn out liquidator/receiver reports that absorb most remaining funds and rarely lead to any action”.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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