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Unclaimed Money Bill No. 39 of 2015 - Second Reading Speech

Mrs Armitage (Launceston) - Mr President, I too support the bill before us. I also support the call by the member for Elwick. It is a bit like superannuation - you can go online and put in your tax file number and find lost superannuation fairly easily. It is important that people can find unclaimed money. I believe the member for Rumney mentioned something to do with banks, and I guess it is not just banks but other businesses whose head offices are on the mainland. I am assuming that after two years the money that has gone to the mainland will come back to the state?

Dr Goodwin (Leader of Government) This is a change. We are not picking up the mainland businesses now.

Mrs Armitage (Launceston) - I thought we were going to pick that up. Dr Goodwin - No.

Mrs Armitage - I would have thought it was more important that the money that belongs to people in the state should be coming back to the state after the two-year period. That was my understanding from looking at the fact sheet, but perhaps I am confused.

I also take the point with the member for Windermere about bank interest. I note when we get to clause 25: No claimant is to be paid interest on the amount of any unclaimed money for which demand on the Treasury is made on the amount of any unclaimed money paid unless the Treasurer determines otherwise. The one I would like to mention - and I mentioned it earlier to the member for Hobart - was when I looked at clause 26: If any claimant makes any demand against the Treasurer for any unclaimed money paid to the Treasurer under this act, the Treasurer upon being satisfied that the claimant is the owner of the money demanded is to direct that –

I am just wondering what criteria the Treasurer looks at to determine that the claimant is the person. When we get to clause 26, it says the Treasurer is not responsible if he makes a mistake or for whatever reason it says -

If any unclaimed money paid to a claimant under section 25 is afterwards claimed by any other person the Treasurer is not responsible for the payment of that money but that person may have recourse against the claimant to whom the Treasurer has paid the money.

I do wonder whether you might be able to answer that, Leader, about the Treasurer not taking any responsibility basically after he makes a determination of whose money it is.

The only other one I would ask, and I will ask it when it comes up in clause 28, is when we get to fees that are going to be charged. The fee referred to must be reasonable having regard to circumstances in which the service is provided. I wonder what determines reasonable or who determines what reasonable is.

Mrs Taylor (Elwick) - The Treasurer.

Mrs Armitage - It does not say, but it says the Treasurer may charge a fee of an amount determined by the Treasurer in respect of any transaction but the fee must be reasonable. I would not have thought if the Treasurer was determining that maybe someone else might determine if it is reasonable. They are just a few questions I would like answered.

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