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THE NEWS WRAP: Banks attack hack notification law

Monday, 24 June 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

The Australian Bankers Association has attacked a proposed new law forcing its members to notify customers when their security has been breached by hackers.


The bill is one of 50 being considered by Parliament in its final sitting week before the federal election on September 14.


“The real cost to banks involved with this legislation is the actual notification to affected customers," ABA policy director Ian Gilbert said.


"The breach may have arisen beyond the bank's control. For organisations with large customer bases, the notification requirement may result in a disproportionate cost compared with the possible harm caused by the breach."


Jobs growth in the retail sector


The retail sector added 34,000 jobs during the May quarter, with the number of people working in the sector up 47,000 year-on-year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


The jobs growth coincided with a seasonally adjusted 3.1% year-on-year growth in retail turnover during April.


“In real terms, sales in the year to March were stronger for durable items like vehicles (up 17%), furnishings and house equipment (up 4.1%) and service items such as health (7.1%), education (up 2.8%), insurance and finance (up 3.4%), communications (up 2.6%) and recreation and culture (up 0.8%),” said Citi economist Josh Williamson.


Another Newspoll disaster for Gillard as Conroy considers new media reforms


Labor’s primary vote has fallen to just 29%, while Julia Gillard’s support as preferred prime minister fell from 35% to 33%, according to the latest Newspoll, which also shows the government now trails the opposition 57% to 43%.


Meanwhile, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has flagged the possibility of taking further media reforms to the federal election, after the government’s previous media reform package failed to gain support from key independent MPs in March.


“Obviously the policies weren't able to pass Parliament, they are dead, we wouldn't be proceeding with them or pursuing them. So we are having discussions among ourselves about what to take forward to the election," Conroy said.


"We have to reconsider all of the options, reconsider what we think we can achieve, and that's what I'm talking to my colleagues about at the moment."


“Labor's media regulation package was a classic example of Conrovian over-reach and mismanagement. Labor do not understand the importance of free speech and the primary role an independent media plays in our democracy," shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull said.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.28% to14799.4. The Aussie dollar is buying US92.24 cents.