Gladstone banking forum highlights need to act on Royal Commission - Media Release

ANDREW LEIGH

SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES

 

SENATOR CHRIS KETTER

CHAIR OF THE SENATE REFERENCES COMMITTEE

LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

 

ZAC BEERS

LABOR CANDIDATE FOR FLYNN

 

GLADSTONE BANKING FORUM HIGHLIGHTS NEED TO ACT ON ROYAL COMMISSION 

Last night we met with Gladstone locals to discuss the findings of the Banking Royal Commission.

While people right across Australia have been affected by the behaviour of the banks, Gladstone in particular has felt the brunt of a dodgy finance sector taking advantage of people struggling to make ends meet as the local economy slows down.

We heard stories from people who turned to their banks after the end of Gladstone’s last construction boom, only to be met with callous disinterest and unscrupulous tactics that refused to put their customers first.

The human cost of the banks’ behaviour was evident, with many in attendance struggling to comprehend the extent to which the sector had sought to profit from misfortune.

We also discussed Labor’s plans to give bank victims a fairer chance to fight for their rights with a $640 million Banking Fairness Fund. The fund will raise $160m per year from Australia’s biggest banks and fund measures like the doubling of the number of financial counsellors across Australia, meaning there will be 1000 people to provide advocacy, support and advice to an additional 125,000 Australians each year.

One attendee told us that the Royal Commission had come too late, and we agree. 

Labor has been calling for a Royal Commission since 2016. On the other side of the chamber, the Liberals voted against it 26 times in the Parliament. It took more than 600 days for them to be dragged kicking and screaming to call a Royal Commission, longer than the banks themselves.

Scott Morrison called it a “populist whinge” and then refused to allow the Parliament to sit for longer to deal with its findings and still has not committed to implementing them all.

While the Liberals stood up for the big banks, Labor stood up for banking victims.

While Ken O’Dowd and his Coalition colleagues look after the top end of town, Labor is looking after everyday workers.

Australia deserves better than this chaotic Coalition with a soft spot for the multinationals and millionaires.

ENDS

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.


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