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Greens secure Senate Inquiry into Forestry Managed Investment Schemes

Greens Senator for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is pleased to provide the following comments following the Greens’ successful bid to secure a Senate Inquiry into forestry Managed Investment Schemes.

 Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Today the Senate agreed to a Greens motion and voted to conduct an Inquiry into forestry Managed Investment Schemes (MIS).

 “The establishment and subsequent collapse of the MIS is the signature economic policy failure of recent coalition governments.

 “The collapse of the schemes has lost small investors their life savings and in some cases their homes. The plantations established as part of these tax minimisation schemes have changed the face of rural communities and alienated valuable agricultural land.

 “This inquiry is a chance to look not just at the policy mistakes that were made, but also at what the role of government is in dealing with the legacy of these schemes.

 “With the Government’s push for financial deregulation around their Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms, this Inquiry is very timely as so many financial victims of MIS were drawn in by advisers pushing products to gain financial commissions.

 “This Inquiry will give the people and communities affected by MIS a chance to be heard,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

 ---ENDS---

 Media contact: Tim Beshara 0409 164 603

 NB Terms of Reference

 An inquiry into forestry managed investment schemes (MIS), including

i.              The motivation and drivers that established the framework for the schemes initially.

ii.            The role of governments in administering and regulating forestry MIS.

iii.           The current policy and regulatory framework of forestry MIS.

iv.           The role of some in the financial services industry in promoting and selling forestry MIS.  

v.             Compensation arrangements for small investors in forestry MIS who have lost life savings and their homes in the face of the collapse of forestry MIS.

vi.           Burden on farmers and other agricultural producers who have been left with the uncertainty of timber plantations linked to forestry MIS on their land.

vii.          Options for reforming forestry MIS to protect investors and rural communities

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