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Boosting Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

The Australia Government will invest $166.4 million in this month’s Budget to implement reforms to Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime.

Each year billions of dollars of illicit funds are generated from illegal activities such as drug trafficking, tax evasion, people smuggling, cybercrime, arms trafficking and other illegal and corrupt practices.

As a result of the former government’s failure to act, Australia is falling short of meeting the standards required to combat criminal abuse of our financial system, and at increased risk of becoming a haven for money laundering.

Australia is now one of only five jurisdictions out of more than 200 that do not regulate tranche-two entities - lawyers, accountants, trust and company service providers, real estate agents and dealers in precious metals and stones.

This is placing Australia at risk of being ‘grey-listed’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which could result in significant harm to our economy.

The Albanese Government recently commenced the next stage of consultation on reforms to Australia’s AML/CTF regime, demonstrating our commitment to combat criminal abuse of our financial system after nearly of a decade of inaction by the former government.

The Budget investment will enable the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) to implement the new regime and to support industries meet their obligations. It will also allow AUSTRAC to deliver comprehensive education and guidance to support businesses, especially newly-regulated entities.

The reforms are critical in supporting law enforcement partners in their fight against transnational, serious and organised crime and protecting Australians.