The Turnbull Government has serious questions to answer about their apparent special treatment for the big banks ahead of a public inquiry designed to scrutinise their practices and bury the need for a Royal Commission into Australia’s financial services sector.

The Government has given the inside lane to their best friends, the big banks, by allowing them to choose the dates they will appear before the public inquiry before the inquiry was even established.

This is nothing but a stitch-up by a government and a Prime Minister that will do anything to avoid a Royal Commission into the banking and financial services sector.

Bringing the banks to Canberra for a one-day hearing, in the middle of the school holidays, at a prearranged time is not what we need to get to the heart of the issues in the banking and financial services sector.

The dates for the inquiry have been set without the input of committee MPs. This was done in secret and in partnership with the banks.

The Government must reveal why they thought it appropriate to allow the banks to dictate terms of the public enquiry.

The inquiry hasn’t even started and already the Government is giving the banks special treatment. The Turnbull Government must answer the following questions:

  • When did they first approach the banks about possible dates? 
  • On whose direction did they do so given the Committee was not established until last night?
  • Did Government representatives specifically offer to hold the hearings outside of a parliamentary sitting week? 
  • Did any Government MP on the committee speak with the Treasurer or his office about hearing dates for bank executives prior to the committee finalising the timetable?
  • What correspondence has passed backwards and forwards, and will it be publically released?

Yet again, the Turnbull Government is bending over backwards to help the big banks. This is further proof that they are desperate to protect the banks from a Royal Commission.

Labor will not stop pushing for a Royal Commission because we know that this is the only way to hold the sector accountable for what has happened in the past, and to stop these scandals from happening in the future.


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