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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 261

Senator WONG (South AustraliaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (16:01): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 12 standing in my name for today, relating to the banking and financial services industry, be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: There is no objection.

Senator WONG: I move:


(a) the Senate notes that:

   (i) confidence and trust in the financial services industry has been shaken by ongoing revelations of scandals, which have resulted in tens of thousands of Australians being ripped off, including:

(A) retirees who have had their retirement savings gutted,

(B) families who have been rorted out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,

(C) small business owners who have lost everything, and

(D) life insurance policy holders who have been denied justice,

   (ii) it is clear from the breadth and scope of the allegations that the problems in this industry go beyond any one bank or type of financial institution,

   (iii) the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Greens, crossbench, Liberal and Nationals parliamentarians have supported a thorough investigation of the culture and practices within the financial services industry through a Royal Commission, which is the only forum with the coercive powers and broad jurisdiction necessary to properly perform this investigation, and

   (iv) Australia has one of the strongest banking systems in the world,

but Australians must have confidence in their banks and financial institutions, making it necessary to sweep away doubt and uncover and deal with unethical behaviour that compromises that confidence;

(b) the Senate calls on the Prime Minister to request His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia issue Letters Patent to establish a Royal Commission to inquire into misconduct in the banking and financial services industry; and

(c) this resolution be communicated to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

Senator Lambie interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Senator Lambie, you did not object to the notice being taken as formal?

Senator Lambie interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Okay. Senator Williams is on his feet; I understand Senator Williams may be moving an amendment. Are you happy to wait till after that, Senator Lambie?

Senator Lambie interjecting

The PRESIDENT: That is good.