Franking credit inquiry heading to seats held by Tim Wilson, Kelly O’Dwyer

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The Parliamentary inquiry into refundable franking credits has scheduled four public hearings in Victoria – all of them in seats held by the Liberal Party, including the one held by Chair of the inquiry Tim Wilson.

A House of Representatives Committee has been conducting an inquiry into the ‘implications of removing refundable franking credits’ – effectively an inquiry into Labor’s policy to stop most refunds of excess franking credits.

The inquiry has been holding public hearings around Australia, allowing members of the public to make 3 minute statements to the Committee. So far all the public hearings have been held on weekdays in business hours.

The Committee has announced four new public hearings in Victoria, all of which are in the seats held by the Liberal Party.

  • Malvern, Victoria: 19 March 2019
  • Brighton, Victoria: 19 March 2019
  • Mount Martha, Victoria: 20 March 2019
  • Torquay, Victoria: 20 March 2019

According to the AEC website, Brighton is in the seat of Goldstein – which is held by Chair of the Committee conducting the inquiry MP Tim Wilson. Malvern is in the seat of Higgins – held by MP Kelly O’Dwyer, who announced in January that she would not be contesting the next election. Mount Martha is in the seat of Flinders, held by MP Greg Hunt. Torquay is in the seat of Corangamite, held by MP Sarah Henderson.

The only previous hearing of the inquiry in Victoria was in the seat held by Greens MP Adam Bandt.

Last week Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite asked how the locations for the public hearings were decided.

Announcing the new hearings, Tim Wilson said: “The committee continues to gather evidence about how the removal of refundable franking credits would affect investors, particularly senior Australians whose financial security could be compromised.”

He said that the Committee has “received well over 1000 submissions, including many from retires who are concerned they will be forced on to the aged pension if the ability to claim a refund on their franking credits is removed”. Currently 1,149 submissions have been published on the Parliamentary website of the inquiry.

Mr Wilson has been criticised for his activities around the inquiry, including using his Stop the Retirement Tax website to register people wishing to attend the public hearings. The official website of the inquiry says that “in relation to public meetings, pre-registration is not required to participate”.

“Members of the public can attend on the day and place their name on a list at the meeting venue to make a public statement.”

More to come.

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