Published on Mar 26, 2017
Bob Katter’s introduced the People of Australia’s Commission of Inquiry (Banking and Financial Services) Bill 2017 into the Lower House of Federal Parliament this morning.
As a show of support LNP Member for Dawson, George Christensen MP sat behind Mr Katter with the crossbench Members and ALP Members as Mr Katter gave his speech.
The Bill has the full powers of a Royal Commission, plus additional protections for whistleblowers.
Introducing the Bill, Mr Katter stood in Parliament House flanked by all of his fellow lower house crossbenchers, Andrew Wilkie MP, Cathy McGowan MP, Adam Bandt MP and Rebekha Sharkie MP to proclaim, “A very important moment”… “A majority vote will be registered for what we know as a Royal Commission, but from this day forth it will be the People of Australia’s Commission of Inquiry into Banking and Financial Services.”
Mr Katter said, “I doubt whether there would be five per cent of this country who would say that an inquiry into the banks is not needed. Everyone agrees to this, except the Liberal Party. They are the only people who disagree. And their isolation is standing out now like a neon light, and the cowardice of those people who have advocated it yet, when it is put into the Parliament, cannot be found; they will be hiding in the toilets. We must note the courage and intellectual integrity of some and the cowardice of others.”
“The Catholic priest in the greater Longreach area said that there were 42 farms being foreclosed on—station properties, families. Charlie Phillott—the now-famous Charlie Phillott, twice on 60 Minutes—named 13 properties in his area of Winton that were being foreclosed on. I knew of eight in the area south of Hughenden and Richmond—the Muttaburra and Aramac area—eight.
“Clearly there is the most serious situation and the continuing deterioration in agriculture in Australia means there are probably 50 to 100 farmers being marched off their land every week.
“There have been 37 inquiries in seven years and they have achieved absolutely nothing except in the last inquiry where each of the heads of the banks have said, “Oh we’ve been so guilty, we’ve been guilty, we’ve got to do things right in future”.
“They admitted their guilt but we haven’t destroyed the problem. The glare of the spotlight of public opinion (from my experience in Queensland where we had terrible police corruption), once the spotlight of public opinion through a Royal Commission of Inquiry turned upon that corruption, we were able to destroy it. And we would not have been able to destroy it otherwise.”
Mr Katter’s People of Australia’s Commission of Inquiry (Banking and Financial Services) Bill 2017 Bill and Explanatory