Coronavirus Australia live news: Victoria records 484 new Covid-19 cases and NSW 16 – latest updates

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South Australia records first Covid-19 cases since Thursday

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Labor’s shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, and financial services spokesman, Stephen Jones, have weighed in on our piece from yesterday revealing that the corporate regulator opposed Josh Frydenberg’s mid-pandemic crackdown on class actions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they don’t like what the treasurer has done.

In May, Frydenberg watered down rules that require companies to keep the stock exchange fully informed in a bid to protect them from the “threat of opportunistic class actions for allegedly falling foul of their continuous disclosure obligations if their forecasts are found to be inaccurate”.

But it turns out the Australian Securities and Investments Commission had told Frydenberg the existing regime was not just working well but was extra important during a crisis like the GFC or a pandemic.

Over to Dreyfus and Jones:

The Asic warning shows that, in his rush to undermine class actions, Mr Frydenberg potentially undermined the capacity of Australian companies to raise capital in the middle of a global pandemic.

This is the second time in a week Australia’s corporate regulator has called out the Morrison government for its incompetent and politically driven crackdown on class actions and litigation funds.

Just last week Asic revealed it was not told about the treasurer’s announcement that the Morrison government would regulate litigation funders and plaintiffs in class actions until the night before the announcement – a move that has been consistently opposed by Asic and Treasury.

In other Frydenberg-related news, it also turns out that one of Australia’s leading experts on class actions doesn’t agree with him that such cases have tripled in recent years. We’ve covered that dispute here:

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502 new cases nationally – largest day ‘since the pandemic began’

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