Government flip-flops again on money-laundering, counter-terror finance laws

Ten years, no action. Laws designed to protect Australians from criminal abuse – no action. No action because of weak government and strong lobbying from real estate, lawyers and accountants. Nathan Lynch examines the consequences, such as housing affordability.

THE AUSTRALIAN government has again reneged on its international commitment to pass new money laundering laws to protect the legal, accounting, real estate and high-value goods sectors from organised crime and terrorism financing. The government had aimed to pass laws to cover these sectors by 2018, following a highly critical report from the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The report said Australia had fallen well behind in its international obligations to protect the country’s economy from criminal abuse. New Zealand took evasive action following the Panama Papers and will have introduced its “Phase 2” AML/CFT laws by the end of the year. Australia has been promising to introduce comprehensive “Tranche 2” laws, with support from

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