Recently I had the opportunity to meet with Federal Member for the electorate of Isaacs, Mark Dreyfus QC, to discuss the concerning potential axing of Responsible Lending Laws.
Our discussions primarily focused on the impact that these changes would have on the local community, surrounding suburbs and economy.
Dingley Village and surrounds is considered an affluent area by a lot of locals, therefore when I began to share a few of my experiences working as a financial counsellor in Dingley Village, it came as a bit of a shock that stories of such extreme hardships could occur at the doorstep of such a community.
Sharing a few recent cases of hardship (confidentially afforded), discussing the breaches of legislation surrounding responsible lending practices, and the impact this had on individuals and their families, surprised and appalled Mark Dreyfus, as to how with these laws in place this can still go on.
My thoughts exactly.
Sadly, this was only the beginning. I went on to discuss further impact, including increased family violence, increased gambling, rent issues, child poverty, homelessness and increased mental health challenges.
We spoke further and went on to discuss how things will worsen if these laws were not in place to offer protection to those in the community.
Mark Dreyfus was on board. He had made that clear from the beginning. To many, including us financial counsellors, the prospect of axing these laws is completely ridiculous (Mark’s words).
If COVID showed us anything, it showed us that things can change in a heartbeat. Something that people can now somewhat acknowledge and relate to. Mark did.
The meeting was a success. I left knowing that we had the support from a member of parliament, someone who would be putting up their hand to vote ‘yay’ or ‘nay’.
And his vote is ‘nay’ all the way…. as is mine.