Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it would be reckless to make federal parliament sit for an extra two weeks in March to fast-track its response to the banking royal commission.
Labor has been calling for the extra sitting days to pass laws taking action on commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s 76 recommendations.
But Mr Morrison has told the National Press Club in Canberra at least 40 pieces of legislation are required, which should not be prepared so quickly.
“You cannot go and put together what is at least 40 pieces of legislation, or thereabouts, scramble it together in a couple of weeks, throw it into a feverish sitting of the Australian Parliament just before the election and then be surprised at the result that you think that you might get on the other side,” he said on Monday.
“I would call that type of financial legislation reckless.”
He said Labor leader Bill Shorten’s push for extra sitting weeks before the election showed he didn’t understand the complexity of the measures or the consultation and drafting that needs to be done.
“This guy doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand how to legislate financial services reform,” Mr Morrison said.
The coalition has promised to act on all 76 recommendations from the inquiry, but the prime minister said they will tread carefully.
“We will deal with this in the prudent, measured and responsible way we always do.”
His comments come after the Law Council of Australia urged political leaders to give the inquiry’s recommendations careful consideration, allowing enough time for meaningful consultation with stakeholders.
“We must ensure a real opportunity to set this right through meaningful reform is not lost in the race to the election,” council president Arthur Moses said.
Asked whether he thinks anyone should go to jail based on the royal commission, Mr Morrison said that’s not up to him.
But he expects the 20 cases Commissioner Hayne referred to financial sector regulators will come before the courts.
His comments come as the federal government has finalised the panel that will help former consumer watchdog boss Graeme Samuel review one of the key regulators.
Former Westpac executive Diane Smith-Gander and a former acting governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Grant Spencer, will join forces with Mr Samuel for the capability review of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
The royal commission recommended regular reviews of the body’s capability to promote financial stability within its frameworks.
© AAP 2019