I would like to start by acknowledging the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the traditional custodians of the land we now call Sydney, on which we meet today.
It is my pleasure to welcome you all here tonight. Thank you for coming. A special welcome to The Honourable Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition, The Honourable Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and the entire Shadow Ministry, who are here with us tonight.
My name is Colin Tate, and I am the co-founder and chief executive of Conexus Financial, the official sponsor of this, the Federal Labor Business Forum 2017 Leader and Shadow Ministry dinner.
As a specialist media publisher and conference producer, we work closely with, but also at a critical distance from, the financial services industry.
It was pleasing recently to see the latest round of financial planning reforms pass Parliament. For the past decade, we have been at the forefront of agitating for higher professional standards in the industry.
Change took many years and Labor can rightly be proud of the role it 2 played in kick-starting the Future of Financial Advice reforms back in 2012.
The $2.6 trillion wealth-management industry touches the lives of all Australians. It is now the most important contributor to GDP, and an important provider of skilled jobs, particularly here in Sydney.
At Conexus Financial, we want to see the political system working to implement good, evidence-based public policy. Not just in the financial services sector around which we work, but across the entire spectrum.
The Federal Labor Business Forum is a cause we are extremely proud to support, because it is a chance to help facilitate a constructive dialogue between the business community and our alternative government. However, our sponsorship of this fundraising dinner should not be interpreted as a slavish endorsement for Labor. We enthusiastically engage with both sides of politics, in the hope of making a difference.
Many of the comments I am about to make would be very similar if this were a Liberal Party function.