The news that the Government will dump plans for a banking tribunal has confirmed what everyone now knows about Malcolm Turnbull – he stands for nothing and will give away anything.


Only two months ago, Malcolm Turnbull said:


"We will get a low cost, speedy tribunal to deal with these types of consumer complaints, customer complaints against banks. This will be real action.” 5AA October 7, 2016.


And less than two weeks ago, the Prime Minister’s own sham banks inquiry recommended that a tribunal be established:


Recommendation 1:


The committee recommends that the Government amend or introduce legislation, if required, to establish a Banking and Financial Sector Tribunal by 1 July 2017. 


Today, Malcolm Turnbull has jettisoned any suggestion of a tribunal, and with it the credibility of Liberal MPs who agreed to back this approach as an alternative to a Royal Commission, including:


  • Warren Entsch
  • George Christensen
  • Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams
  • David Coleman
  • Craig Kelly.


Like all of Malcolm Turnbull’s other banking thought-bubbles, the Tribunal was only ever intended to distract from Labor’s call for a full Royal Commission into Australia’s banks and financial services sector.


This announcement fooled no-one except his own backbench.


Everyone – including the Prime Minister – acknowledges that there are big problems in our banking sector. But Malcolm Turnbull is too in thrall to his banker friends to do what is necessary and call a Royal Commission.


Only a Royal Commission can deliver the systemic, structural and cultural change that the banking and financial services sector needs. A Tribunal was never going to achieve this; neither will merging existing complaints bodies to create a new agency in name only.  


Labor will continue to fight for a Royal Commission on behalf of those who have suffered because of bank misconduct. It is now time for Liberal MPs who gave the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt last time to do likewise.



Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services



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