WEDNESDAY, 1 JUNE 2016
SUBJECT/S: Royal Commission into the financial sector
CARL KATTER, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR HIGGINS: We are very excited to have Andrew Leigh here today in the heart of Higgins. We will be talking today about the inquiry into the banking sector. I have spoken to a lot of members in Higgins who would like to see some action. Over to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks so much, Carl. Carl has been out there telling the Labor story in Higgins – a seat which is tiger territory for the Labor party, and that is why we have got a tiger of a candidate in Carl Katter.
Carl is today launching a petition calling for a Royal Commission into the Australian banks. Labor believes this is a Royal Commission whose time has come. The list of scandals is as long as your arm. It goes through Storm, Trio, Opes Prime, the bank bills swap rates, the scandal involving the Australian Bureau of Statistics and a NAB employee, and a whole suite of scandals that have seen people lose not only their life savings, but sometimes end up with debt.
Bill Shorten and I met recently with a group of people who had been the victims of financial scandals. One of them, a woman by the name of Jenny, talked about how it has affected her kids. She was telling us that her kids are now nervous to come to her for $20 for a school excursion, because they know how close Mum and Dad came to losing the house. They know that the impact of a financial rip-off has rippled through their family. We want to make sure, for Jenny's sake, and for the sake of the many Australians who have been ripped off, that the Australian banking sector is as strong as it can be.
While the Liberals will hold Royal Commissions to drag former prime ministers in front of it, to settle political scores, Labor's call for a Royal Commission into banks is grounded in our desire that the Australian banking sector should be as strong as possible. Australian banks go every year to the Global Financial markets asking for about half a trillion dollars. They get that money not because Australian banks are regarded as being in the top couple of hundred banks in the world, but because they are all regarded as top 20 banks. But these financial scandals potentially threaten that. It is really important that we make sure Australian banks remain strong. That is why Carl and his enthusiastic team of volunteers are out here making the case for a Royal Commission. While the Liberals want to have a $50 billion tax cut to big businesses, while the Liberals want to give a $7 billion tax cut to the big banks, Labor wants to give the big banks a Royal Commission.
Thanks very much to Carl for all his hard work – not sure if Carl wants to add anything more on the petition?
KATTER: I just want to say that many in the community see this as a positive for the industry also. Yes, of course, it will be a big positive for the tens of thousands who have lost a huge amount of money through these frauds and scams, but it will be good for the sector, too.
LEIGH: Thanks very much Carl. No questions? Thanks everyone.