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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 262


Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (16:03): Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WHISH-WILSON: The Greens will be supporting this motion and, had we seen your amendment, Senator Williams, we probably would have supported that, too. We have been pushing for a royal commission into financial services and misconduct now for over two years. We led on this issue. Unfortunately, we could have dealt with this much earlier if the Labor Party had supported the Greens' motion nearly 12 months ago.

I would like to say this: it is really important. Those senators who sat through the Economics Committee's inquiries into financial misconduct would all be supporting this motion had they seen and heard the evidence that we heard. It is trust that holds our financial system together. That trust have been shattered by a series of financial scandals. We need a commission of inquiry with coercive powers with full resources to get to the bottom of this issue. If the government does not act and they do not have a royal commission, then the Greens will be pushing for a parliamentary commission of inquiry. Parliament must step up and hold the executive to account on this issue. Australians want to see this royal commission. It is absolutely necessary. (Time expired)

The PRESIDENT: I will take Senator Williams first.