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Restoring trust is an urgent challenge for next government

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For some time now Australian voters have turned away from major parties in favour of independents and minority parties. Tired of years of spin, scandals, internal disunity and dysfunction, trust has been breached.

This election is shaping up as a replay of the last few with the polls predicting the winner will scrape over the line, be it Labor's Bill Shorten or the Coalition's Scott Morrison. A hung parliament or minority government based on crafty preference deals could well be the outcome.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during the 2019 election campaign slug it out.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Unlike the past few elections this one is less Seinfeldian than the last. Headline policy differences this time are on meaty issues including climate change, education, health and tax issues.

But there are other policy differences that have received less airplay which are also important and need to be considered. They include wage fraud, the financial services sector, whistleblower protections and oversight of the Australian Taxation Office.

In all of them a common theme is rebuilding trust.

Take financial services. Both parties agree trust needs to be restored to the sector after a string of scandals culminated in a banking royal commission in 2018 that produced a set of recommendations in February 2019. While both major parties have agreed to accept the bulk of the recommendations, there are differences.


For instance, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne in his final report recommended a ban on grandfathered commissions to eliminate conflicted remuneration. The Coalition wants to give the financial planning industry until January 2021 to phase them out, while Labor........

© The Age